Ajax boss Frank de Boer is still targeting the Champions League knockout phase but concedes a place in the Europa League would represent a fine achievement for his side.
Having been paired with the champions of Spain, England and Germany in Real Madrid, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, De Boer has tempered his expectations to the extent that finishing third - and securing a place in Europe's second tier competition - would satisfy the former Holland defender.
The Amsterdammers go into the clash with Dortmund three points behind second-placed Madrid with two games remaining.
Ajax have accumulated four points from four games, two more than rock-bottom City.
``We're going all out to win because we would like to remain in the Champions League,'' said De Boer at his pre-match press conference.
``It is difficult but we are still going for it.''
He added: ``If we are honest, though, it would be great if we can finish third and get into the Europa League qualification places.
``That would certainly represent a nice (Champions League) tournament. Look at our opponents.''
Winger Tobias Sana joined Ajax from IFK Gothenburg in August and he is simply relishing the chance to play on such a grand stage.
He told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper: ``It is a dream to play in the Champions League.
``I have played in front of 3,000 people in Gavle and now I play at the Amsterdam ArenA against the likes of Real Madrid.''
Sana played as Dortmund struggled to a 1-0 win at the Westfalenstadion on matchday one but the 23-year-old is expecting a tougher test this time.
``Dortmund are an incredibly good team,'' he added.
``When we played them earlier in the season they hadn't yet got everything together.
``Now their machine is rolling properly and we have to be ready for that.''
For Dortmund, the equation is simple; a point in Amsterdam and they qualify.
Sporting director Michael Zorc is satisfied with their progress but will not get carried away until their progress is assured.
``Our position is solid, but we are still missing a point,'' he said in the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper.
``We realise that we need a great performance once more, as we have already shown in this Champions League.''
Dortmund's recent record in the tournament has been poor - they have not reached the last 16 since 2002-03 - and Zorc admits their results this season have surpassed expectations.
He added: ``Of course we could not expect to get four points against Real Madrid and win the head-to-head comparison.
``But we know that our team has enough quality to play at this level.''