AC Milan will host Ajax Amsterdam this Wednesday at San Siro in the sixth and last game of Group H to clinch a ticket for the Round of Sixteen of the Champion’s League. For the Rossoneri, second with eight points, a draw will be enough to advance while Ajax, third with seven points, has no other choice than to win. An early exit for the Italian giants could end Massimiliano Allegri‘s days in Lombardia.
Playing their last Champion’s group game with fear of elimination is not something the seven-time Champion’s League winners were used to. Milan usually clinched their ticket before the last group game, but this season, Allegri’s men didn’t manage to afford themselves that luxury. Tomorrow against Ajax, a loss will end their Champion’s League season and send them to the Europa League.
Getting a point at home against Ajax should not be something out of Milan’s reach, but the Rossoneri have been so inconsistent this season that a loss against the Dutch champions wouldn’t be a surprise. Allegri’s men have won only four of their 15 games in Serie A and are in ninth place, 20 points behind league leaders Juventus. With the top three in Serie A seemingly out of reach, a good run in the Champion’s League is vital for the finances of the club owned by the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who visited the team on Monday at their training center of Milanello to boost the players’ moral before what is perhaps the most important game of their season.
Beyond their own team’s inconsistency, it’s Ajax’ form that worries the Milan fans. The Amsterdammers have won their last six games including two 4-0 league wins against Ado Den Haag and Nac Breda and an important 2-1 victory against Barcelona two weeks ago to keep themselves in the Champion’s League. Frank De Boer‘s men almost won the first leg in Amsterdam, but Mario Balotelli‘s 94th-minute equalizer denied them the three points.
AC Milan fans would have surely preferred to avoid themselves such a stressful game, but for them, it’s time to get behind their team and hope for a good result. Ajax will arrive in Milan in a better form, but the Rossoneri have never gone out of the competition after the first round and will be eager to prove that despite their struggles in Serie A this season, they remain one of the greatest football clubs in the world.