AC Milan and Ajax Amsterdam are set to square off in a winner-take-all Champions League clash on Tuesday.
The two European clubs are currently second and third in Group H respectively, with Tuesday's match providing each with one last opportunity to secure a berth in the knockout stage.
October's first meeting between these two produced one of the more dramatic finishes of the year as Milan's Mario Balotelli scored with a penalty deep into injury time to equalize and salvage a point for the visitors in Amsterdam.
If not for Balotelli's heroics, Ajax may have already booked a trip to the Round of 16.
With kick-off right around the corner, let's get you set with everything you need to know for Wednesday's momentous contest.
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Start Time: 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. GMT
Where: San Siro, Milan, Italy
Watch: Fox Sports 2
AC Milan: 58.1 percent
Ajax: 17.5 percent
Draw: 24.5 percent
*Odds according to Bloomberg Sports.
Group H Implications
Group H leaders Barcelona have already secured a berth in the knockout stage and only need a draw at home against Celtic on Wednesday to lock up the group's top spot.
With Celtic having been eliminated from contention, Wednesday's pivotal showdown between Milan and Ajax at the San Siro will determine which club moves on with Barca to the Round of 16. With Milan currently one point up on Ajax for second place, a draw would see the Rossoneri through to the next round.
But Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri was quick to label Wednesday's marquee game a must for his side in terms of earning a positive result, per ESPN FC's Ben Gladwell:
I've got lots of faith in my lads. Sadly we've not got the results we deserved in the league, but the Champions League and Serie A cannot be compared.
It's an important game and we've got to knock Ajax out. They're playing very well and are in great form. They play good football, but we're at home and we've got to try to beat them. We've got to be serene, careful and focused, and I'm certain the lads won't get their approach wrong.
Ajax out-possessed Milan 59-41 in the first meeting two months ago, but were only able to record one additional shot on goal compared to Allegri's squad.
Which side will advance to the knockout stage?
While a strong case can be made for either side, it's difficult to go against the home team in a matchup of this magnitude.
Milan will receive tremendous crowd support inside the San Siro and possess more firepower than their Dutch foe with the likes of Balotelli and Kaka at their disposal. Not to mention they've only conceded one goal in their two previous Champions League home matches.
There's clearly a ton at stake for both squads, but Milan boast too much talent to come up short this early in their European Cup campaign.
AC Milan 2, Ajax 0
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.