Ajax welcome Bayern Munich to the Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday night when Group E's top two sides will battle it out for the right to progress as group winners.
Bayern currently have a two-point cushion over their Dutch counterparts heading into the final matchday, but know that a loss would result in a second placed finish - potentially meaning a tougher draw in the last-16 of the competition.
In the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena, Ajax came from behind to earn a credible point during an entertaining 1-1 draw in which they arguably could have taken all three points back to Amsterdam. On Wednesday both sides will be gunning for victory as they will want to avoid the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Man City, who have all confirmed their place as group winners.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick-Off?||Wednesday 12 December|
|What Time Is Kick-Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Johan Cruyff Arena|
|TV Channel?||BT Sport 2|
Ajax have developed an exciting young team which has flourished in recent weeks. Centre back Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Frenkie de Jong have taken the headlines this season and are expected to start once more against the German champions. Ajax have been fortunate to have a settled side during the current campaign with few injuries, and will only be without Joel Veltman and Boureima Bande for Wednesday's clash, as they are still recovering from their respective injuries.
Ex-Premier League stars Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic are also likely to start in Ajax's quest to finish top of Group E. Young striker Kasper Dolberg will be looking to continue his impressive recent form after bagging six goals in the Eredivisie this season, he will compete with veteran striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to lead the line.
Bayern have a few injury issues to deal with as key first team players Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso are unlikely to feature. Tolisso and James are recovering from long-term knee injuries and will certainly be missing, whilst Robben is a doubt for Wednesday night after picking up a thigh injury against Benfica.
Injuries have allowed new signings Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka to flourish, and the pair will be expected to start in Amsterdam and will be looking to provide the service to star striker Robert Lewandowski, who continues to fire in the goals for Die Bayern. The Pole has nine Bundesliga goals already this campaign and is the club's leading scorer by some distance ahead of Thomas Muller.
|Ajax||Onana; Mazraoui, de Ligt (c), Blind, Tagliafico; Schöne, de Jong; Ziyech, van de Beek, Tadic; Dolberg.|
|Bayern||Neuer (c); Kimmich, Boateng, Süle, Alaba; Martinez, Thiago; Gnabry, Müller, Coman; Lewandowski.|
Head to Head Record
The two historic clubs have clashed nine times in their history and have identical records since their first meeting back in 1972. Three wins apiece and three draws displays how evenly matched these two teams have been over the years.
In recent times, Bayern have maintained their status as one of Europe's powerhouses - winning the competition most recently in 2013. In contrast, Ajax have been in decline, but appear to have discovered a new generation of talent which has brought back the feel good factor around the Johan Cruyff Arena. The 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in the Allianz Arena is evidence of how far Ajax have come, and they will be heading into Wednesday's clash full of belief that they can get a result to top the group.
Ajax have been in scintillating form in recent weeks, winning their last five fixtures scoring 21 goals in the process. Huntelaar, Tadic, Ziyech and Dolberg have all found the net with regularity this campaign and will be confident of breaching Bayern's uncharacteristically shaky defence when they clash on Wednesday night.
Despite dropping just five points all season in the Eredivisie, Ajax find themselves in second place as PSV top the table in a title race which looks like going to the wire.
In contrast, the German champions have struggled this season under new head coach Niko Kovac and find themselves nine points off the pace in the league. Bayern have won their last two league fixtures, most recently comfortably sweeping aside Nurnberg in a 3-0 victory. The Bavarians will be hoping that result can kick start their campaign
Here's how each team has performed in their last five matches.
|Zwolle 1-4 Ajax (08/12)||Bayern 3-0 Nurnberg (08/12)|
|Ajax 5-1 Den Haag (02/12)||Werder 1-2 Bayern (01/12)|
|AEK 0-2 Ajax (27/11)||Bayern 5-1 Benfica (27/11)|
|NAC 0-3 Ajax (24/11)||Bayern 3-3 Fortuna (24/11)|
|Excelsior 1-7 Ajax (11/11)||Dortmund 3-2 Bayern (10/11)|
With Ajax in terrific form, particularly at home, they will provide a very stern test for their German counterparts. As both sides have already qualified, Wednesday's clash could provide an entertaining affair as both sides throw caution to the wind in an attempt to finish group winners. Goals are guaranteed in this one.
Prediction: Ajax 2-2 Bayern