AC Milan will play host to Red Bull Salzburg at San Siro on Wednesday, with the hosts needing only a draw to progress to the Champions League knockout stages.
While top spot in Group E is already decided, with Chelsea set to finish first, the hosts must avoid defeat or face being overtaken by their visitors into second place.
Stefano Pioli’s side require just a draw against closest rivals Salzburg to seal second spot in Group E, which puts them close to a place in the last 16 for the first time in nine years.
Idealy, Milan are seeking to register consecutive Champions League victories for the first time since October 2011, which would secure their name in the last-16 draw on Monday.
Precedent is certainly on their side when it comes to Italo-Austrian duels from past years, as Pioli’s side have lost just one of 12 encounters with teams from the neighbouring nation, going unbeaten in each of their last eight.
This year, Salzburg are aiming to reach the knockout rounds for the second successive season, having failed to progress past the group stage in any of their three previous campaigns.
As it is a simple case of ‘win or bust’ on Wednesday, Die Roten Bullen intend to throw everything at it, having talked of preparing for “a final” at the iconic Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Salzburg were left in such a difficult position by losing 2-1 at Chelsea last time out, as a Kai Haverts winner midway through the second half ultimately rendered Junior Adamu’s equaliser meaningless.
Matthias Jaissle’s side had remained unbeaten in Group E until that point, and without defeat in 16 games, but managed to bounce back with a Bundesliga win over Hartberg on Saturday, with Swiss striker Noah Okafor scoring the only goal of the game.
AC Milan vs Red Bull Salzburg head to head
These two teams have previously met on just one occasion in the Champions League on September 6, where they played out a 1-1 draw.
Salzburg 1-1 AC Milan 06/09/22
AC Milan latest home form
AC Milan have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having lost just two of their nine most recent matches. They managed to defeat Monza 4-1 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 10 goals and conceded six.
AC Milan 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb 14/09/22
AC Milan 1-2 Napoli 18/09/22
AC Milan 2-0 Juventus 08/10/22
AC Milan 0-2 Chelsea 11/10/22
AC Milan 4-1 Monza 22/10/22
AC Milan latest away form
AC Milan have recently been on a relatively good run of form on the road, having lost just two of their 12 most recent matches. They lost 2-1 to Torino in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 10 goals and conceded seven.
Empoli 1-3 AC Milan 01/10/22
Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan 05/10/22
Verona 1-2 AC Milan 16/10/22
Dinamo Zagreb 0-4 AC Milan 25/10/22
Torino 2-1 AC Milan 30/10/22
Red Bull Salzburg latest home form
Salzburg have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having lost just one of their 10 most recent matches. They managed to defeat Hartberg 1-0 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored four goals and conceded three.
Sazburg 1-1 LASK 01/10/22
Salzburg 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb 05/10/22
Salzburg 0-0 Sturm Graz 22/10/22
Salzburg 1-2 Chelsea 25/10/22
Salzburg 1-0 Hartberg 29/10/22
Red Bull Salzburg latest away form
Salzburg have recently been on a good run of form on the road, having been unbeaten in their nine most recent matches. They managed to defeat Admira 6-1 in their last away game in the League Cup. In their last five matches, they have scored 14 goals and conceded six.
Chelsea 1-1 Salzburg 14/09/22
Rheindorf Altach 2-3 Salzburg 08/10/22
Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Salzburg 11/10/22
Austria Vienna 1-3 Salzburg 16/10/22
Admira 1-6 Salzburg 19/10/22
AC Milan news
Olivier Giroud and Ismael Bennacer should come back into the side for this contest, with Divock Origi and Tommaso Pobega making way.
Fikao Tomori returns at the back after serving a suspension in Zagreb, and the defender should join up with either Matteo Gabbia or Simon Kjaer at the heart of the back four.
Red Bull Salzburg news
Salzburg’s injury concerns are Junior Adamu and Oumar Solet, both of whom are struggling with thigh problems and may not be fit in time for this game.
Nicolas Capaldo and Fernando will be available to Jaissle, who could start Noah Okafor alongside Benjamin Sesko up front, depending on Adamu’s readiness.
Prediction and Odds
AC Milan have conceded in each of their last six home matches in the Champions League and were also held to a 1-1 draw in these teams’ last meeting in September.
Having appeared off the pace in the league last time out, they will have to step up again to handle an energetic Salzburg side.
Odds: 1 2.22 X 2.05 2 2.31
AC Milan 0-0 Salzburg
AC Milan 1-1 Salzburg
AC Milan 2-2 Salzburg
AC Milan 1-0 Salzburg
AC Milan 2-1 Salzburg