Best Odds: 6/4
Dutch heavyweights Ajax will be looking to finish what they’ve started against Dynamo Kiev and book their ticket into this year’s edition of the Champions League group stage. The Ukrainian behemoths held bravely in the early proceedings of the first leg in Amsterdam and will not be welcoming Ajax with a white flag, however.
One of the two biggest clubs in Ukraine has been a constant in European football for quite a time but their hopes of getting into the Champions League group stage this season have been given a proper challenge.
Alyaksandr Khatskevich’s men suffered a comprehensive 3-1 loss in the first leg of their play-off last Wednesday. An away goal could prove to be vital for Dynamo Kiev who are heading into the return leg at the NSC Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kiev hoping to overhaul the deficit. Dynamo face a daunting task, however. The current side has got the opportunity to become the first Dynamo side to ever progress into the knockout stage of a European competition after losing an away leg on a two-goal margin. The 15-time Ukrainian champions will not back down in front of the challenge and will be hoping some of the summer arrivals – such as Tche Tche who was given a cameo in the first leg – could go on to play a more prominent role in the return game. Dynamo Kiev have been proactive during the summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Vladyslav Supriaga, Sidcley, Denis Boyko and Vitor Bueno.
Hosts will have no selection worries for the return leg as Alyaksandr Khatskevich has a full crop of players to choose from.
Brazilian midfielder Tche Tche will be hoping he’s done enough to be rewarded with a starting berth on Tuesday.
The Eredivisie runners-up have put one foot in the Champions League group stage but cannot afford any complacency off the back of their 3-1 win in Amsterdam.
The four-time European champions took an early lead through Donny van der Beek but were made to work for their win as visitors drew level through Tomasz Kedziora not too long after. Ajax made sure to restore their lead courtesy of Hakim Ziyech before summer arrival from Southampton Dusan Tadic doubled the lead before half-time. The Serbian midfielder has made quite an impression early on for Ajax, scoring five goals already in eight appearances across all competitions. Ajax kept pushing forward into the second period as well but were unlucky to hit the crossbar and post. In the end, they were forced to settle for a 3-1 which still puts them in a healthy spot ahead of the Tuesday’s return. Their game in Kiev will be a great opportunity to extend the winning streak which now stands at four in a row.
Dutch heavyweights will have a long list of absentees to worry about for the Tuesday clash.
Ajax will be without Dolberg, Hassane, Neres and Veltman, whereas Cerny, El Azzouzzi and Sinkgraven are all highly doubtful.
Key Factors to Consider
- Ajax have yet to lose any of their previous three matches against Dynamo Kiev
- All 3 previous meetings of the two clubs have seen both sides score a goal at least
- There were Over 2.5 goals scored in last two meetings between Dynamo Kiev and Ajax
- Dutch heavyweights are unbeaten thus far in the season, winning their last 4 games
- Dynamo Kiev have yet to concede in any of their last 6 home matches
Ajax are holding a firm grab of their Champions League play-off thanks to a 3-1 win from the first leg in Amsterdam. The in-form Dutch heavyweights will be looking to close the job without too much hassle and get into the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2010.
Best Odds: 6/4
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