AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 14: Head coach Frank De Boer of Ajax smiles prior to the start of the UEFA Champions League group D match between AFC Ajax and Olympique Lyonnais at the Amsterdam Arena on September 14, 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Dinamo Zagreb and Ajax are both in serious need of a win to keep pace in Group D of the UEFA Champions League
Though Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais were always clear favorites to advance out of Group D in the UEFA Champions League, this one was supposed to be extremely competitive. Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb are both extremely talented teams who performed impressively in their domestic leagues, but after the first two match days, they sit in third and fourth, well behind their rivals.
Over the next two matches, when these two teams play home and away, both teams are going to need to go for the win on both occasions. If either team walks away from this series with less than four points, it's probably lights out on their knockout stage ambitions. If the teams win a match apiece while Real Madrid wipes the floor with Lyon, there is suddenly a very intriguing three-way race.
Both teams have a lot of great young players worth keeping an eye out for. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is out injured for Ajax, but Christen Eriksen and Miralem Sulejmani are both in good form. Meanwhile, all of Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj and Sammir are likely auditioning for future big-money transfers away from Dinamo.
Dinamo Zagreb Vs. Ajax
Date: Tuesday, October 18
Time: 2:45 pm ET, 7:45 pm BST, 8:45 pm local
Venue: Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia
TV: DirecTV Soccer (USA)