Ajax v Juventus Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 10/04/19
Marcello Cossali-Francis (@marcello95cf) previews Ajax vs Juventus and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: -5.78pts
Ajax v Juventus Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 10/04/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Johan Cruijif Arena
This Wednesday night sees the champions of Italy and Holland go head-to-head, as a repeat of the 1996 Champions League final repeats itself in the quarters here, where Juventus take the trip to Ajax for the first-leg.
This tie certainly has the makings of a classic, especially given the records these two sides have this season. Ajax have lost just one game in the UCL so far this season and they have been a real force at home in particular. They have kept four clean sheets in their seven games at the Johan Cruijif arena in this campaign and are averaging 2.2 goals per game at home in the UCL thus far in the competition.
However, they are coming up against Juventus, who over the last six or seven years, have been the most feared team defensively in all of Europa. With Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in the middle of that defence, they are a force to be reckoned with and it will require Ajax to be on top of their game if they are to breach it.
Having said that, Juve have rarely been at their best this season in any competition but they showed exactly how good they can be in that 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid, successfully over-turning the 2-0 defeat in Spain in the first-leg. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return here after a spell out with injuries and we all know how much he loves this stage of the tournament.
Juve have been better in the league of late and have been able to rest key players, with the league all but wrapped up already. They came from 1-0 down against Milan at the weekend ad come into this fixture on the back of three straight wins.
Ajax have been the surprise package in this season’s tournament and are appearing in their first quarter-final in the Champions League since the 2002/03 season, when they were knocked out by AC Milan.
They shocked everyone in the last round by beating Madrid 4-1 in the Bernabeu to overturn the 2-1 deficit the Spanish side imposed in the first-leg. They have lost just one of their 14 games in the UCL this season, having came through two qualifying rounds to get to the group stage, where they remained unbeaten, drawing both games with Bayern Munich in the process.
They possess real quality throughout their side, with captain, Matthijs De Ligt, being heralded as one of the brightest talents in world football. Ex-Southampton forward, Dusan Tadic, has been a revelation in Holland this season, with 30 goals in all competitions, including six in the UCL. His personal performance in Madrid was something to behold and he will be key for Ajax if they are to continue this journey.
Hakim Ziyech is another player who has shone, with 19 goals in all competitions. With almost sixty goals between those two, those Juve defenders will certainly have their abilities tested to the max here.
Ajax are on of the most in-form sides in Europe. They are top of their league, have lost just four times in the Eredivisie and have lost just once in the UCL so far. They managed two draws against Bayern, they have real attacking threat and have scored a staggering 100 goals in the league already this season and conceded just 26.
Noussair Mazraoui is suspended for the home side after an accumulation of bookings, which means that Rasmus Kristensen will start at right-back. Ajax have no injury concerns otherwise.
Juventus are still struggling with injuries of late but are hopeful that Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the side after missing the last four games due to injury. Emre Can came off injured at the weekend and is unlikely to feature here, whilst Alex Sando returns from suspension to return at left back. Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa and Andrea Barzagli are all long-term absentees.
Potential Ajax Starting XI: Onana; Kristensen, Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Beek, Jong, Schone; Ziyech, Tadic, Neres
Potential Juventus Starting XI: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Pjanic, Bentancur, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Mandzukic, Ronaldo
These two have played 12 matches between each other, with Ajax winning two, Jube six and four draws. The most memorable match between these two was when Juventus beat Ajax to win the Champions League final in 1996.
Key Stats & Facts
- Ajax are unbeaten in 15 of their last 16 Champions League fixtures.
- The home side have kept four clean sheets in their seven home Champions League fixtures this season (including qualifiers).
- Juve have lost their last two away games in this competition.
- Atalanta – 5/2
- Draw – 12/5
- Juventus – 13/10
With the form Ajax are in, you would be very tempted to back them at 5/2. The only defeat they have had at home in the UCL this season was to Madrid, they have managed two draws against Bayern and are scoring a ridiculous amount of goals domestically. 100 goals already banged in with seven games still left to play in the league, they are averaging 2.2 goals in the UCL this season and in Tadic and Ziyech, they have two extremely talented players amongst their ranks.
Juve have lost their last two away games in the UCL, 2-0 to Atleti and 2-1 to Young Boys in the group. They have struggled to hit their extremely high levels this season in any competition, but I think that 3-0 win over Atleti to get them here was a sign of things to come. They have been in two of the last three UCL finals and this is normally where the Old Lady start to really play their best.
Juve were poor away from home in the group stage and lost in that first-leg in Spain. But last season they beat Spurs and Real away from home and we all know, with Ronaldo, they are capable of beating anyone. Allegri will have them organised and you can expect them to not take Ajax lightly.
The bet I am going to go with here is for the half-time result to be a DRAW at EVENS. I think Juventus will be set-up to maintain this Ajax side from the start and these first-legs can often be tight affairs to start off with. Ajax will undoubtedly have some nerves, having not been at this stage for such a long time and a lot of young, inexperienced players. Juve will be happy taking 0-0 back to Turin, given how impressive either record is at home.
Ajax has seen a draw at half-time in four of their last five UCL home games and Juve have seen the same in two of their last three UCL away games. At even money, this bet makes has plenty of appeal.