When Group H of the UEFA Champions League was drawn, it became fairly obvious that AC Milan and Barcelona were going to easily qualify for the knockout stages, while BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen fought for a place in the Europa League. Unfortunately for neutrals (along with Milanista and Cule haters), the two smaller clubs have failed to make it interesting, and the status quo is being maintained. Milan won the last match against BATE in Milan and are favorites to repeat the feat in Belarus.
However, they will have to win this game and all of the games in their foreseeable future without Antonio Cassano. The talented Italian international playmaking forward suffered what was believed to be a stroke on Sunday and is currently hospitalized. The good news is that Cassano's condition is improving and that his life outside of football is likely going to be okay, but thoughts of Cassano returning to the pitch are miles away.
Besides the loss of Cassano, a number of Milan players have recovered from injuries in recent weeks and they should have close to a full strength squad to call on in Belarus.
Milan vs. BATE kicks off at 1:00 pm ET, 5:00 pm GMT, and 8:00 pm local time. For more on AC Milan, visit The AC Milan Offside. We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other Champions League action in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday, Matchday 4 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.