Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Prediction: APOEL vs Ajax

Verdict: Ajax win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Within touching distance of securing a Champions League group stage return, Ajax will travel to Cypriot outfit APOEL on Tuesday night.

APOEL

Starting with Tuesday’s hosts, while APOEL may have marched towards their seventh consecutive Cypriot league title last season, fans around Levkosía will be desperate for their side to improve on their European nightmare last year. Crashing out of the Champions League qualifiers at the first attempt by little known Lithuanian outfit Suduva, Thomas Doll’s side also failed to register a spot in the group stage of the Europa League for the first time in five years. Managing to secure a dramatic 2-0 victory away at Qarabag last week after suffering a 2-1 defeat against the Azerbaijan champions at the Neo GSP in the first-leg, their European record on home soil has been slightly concerning. Despite managing to snatch a famous 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund back in October 2017, APOEL have won just two of their previous six Champions League matches in Levkosía, including a 6-0 hammering against Real Madrid two seasons ago.

Team News

Loanee striker Andrija Pavlovic will lead the line on Tuesday, with the new arrival Vujadin Savic likely to slip straight into APOEL’s defence.

Ajax

As for the visitors, while Ajax may have gone about it the hard way against Greek champions PAOK last week, their dramatic 5-4 aggregate win has seen them now extend their winning run to three matches on the bounce. Enjoying a stellar campaign both domestically and in Europe last season, along with lifting their first Eredivisie title in five years, Erik ten Hag’s men also secured a spot in the semi-final of the Champions League before eventually crashing out against Tottenham at the Johan Cruijff Arena. Despite now scoring 16 goals in their last five appearances, Ajax do have some defensive issues that need resolving. Along with shipping four goals against PAOK over both legs, they have recorded just a pair of clean sheets in any of their last 16 contests. Although the Dutch heavyweights might still be feeling the effects of both Frankie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt securing summer moves away from Amsterdam, Ajax will be boosted by managing to keep hold of attacking talisman, Dusan Tadic. Once again finding the net against VVV Venlo last weekend, the former Southampton man has five in his last five across all competitions.

Team News

Holding midfielder Carel Eiting and playmaker Siem de Jong are expected to miss out through injury again, while the newly signed Edson Alvarez and Razvan Marin look to replace the departed Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.

Key Factors to Consider

  • APOEL have won just two of their last six Champions League matches on home soil.
  • Ajax are enjoying a three-match winning run across all competitions and have scored 12 goals in those three victories.
  • Dusan Tadic has bagged five goals in his last five appearances.
  • The last time the two sides met Ajax came away with a 4-0 victory.
  • APOEL have lost three of their last five home matches across all competitions.

Conclusion

While APOEL will be boosted by their impressive comeback against Qarabag last week, their European record at the Neo GSP has been a growing concern. Although Ajax might still be struggling with some defensive issues, Tuesday’s guests have continued to shine in the final third and will be hoping to make an early statement and move one step closer to securing a full Champions League return.

Verdict: Ajax win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top