Champions League / Ajax Amsterdam vs APOEL – It was expected that this match will be just a routine job for Ajax but APOEl showed in the 1st leg how tough they can be as they managed to pull 0-0 draw with Ajax. In fact, the Cypriot champion was dominant and the Dutch champion played with 10 players in the second half. In the meantime both teams postponed their league matches, which indicates how important this match is for both of them.
Game Ajax vs APOEL begins 28.08.2019 at 21:00 CET
Since Ajax played in the Champions League last year it is clear that is not in the best shape right now. They struggled in all three matches played so far despite facing much weaker rivals. Ajax had to play better and dominated in those matches. In the third qualifying round they drew away with PAOK 2-2 and then resolved everything at home where they again didn’t dominate as the result read at the end 3-2. They played the weakest match since the beginning of season right in Nicosia.
They didn’t lose and in fact they are still undefeated but Ajax didn’t score for the first time this season and objectively the home team was closer to win. Pretty strong team was on the pitch, practically the best they have and that is why their pale performances are unexpected, characterised with very few chances. Mazraoui was sent off 10 minutes before the end and they struggled to preserve the draw. It was a strong warning and they approach far more seriously to this match which is why they decided to postpone league match with Fortuna. Mazraoui won’t play for sure and Veltman goes on the right flank, while Promes and Dolberg have problems with injuries.
Probable lineups Ajax Amdsterdam: Onana – Veltman, Martinez, Alvarez, Tagliafico – Marin, Blind – Ziyech, van de Beek, Neres – Tadic
APOEL could feel sorry for not winning the 1st leg as they deserve to at least minimally win. That would improve their chances for positive outcome of this rematch. They are not without them but it is clear that ahead of them a very difficult match in the Amsterdam Arena. It is good that they haven’t received a goal and if they score one their chances would significantly increase. In the third qualifying round they were in difficult situation when they were losing to Qarabag 2-1 in front of their fans and it seemed that will be eliminated.
After the defeat the club management decided to replace manager Tramezzani who led the team in just three matches and his replacement is Thomas Doll. It turned out that was a good decision and they won Qarabag 2-0 in the second leg and reached the play-off. The first match with Ajax showed that are quite self-confident after winning Qarabag and now they are aware that have nothing to lose. APOEL also didn’t play last weekend its league match, while Alef, Efrem and Vouros are injured.
Probable lineups APOEL: Belec – Mihajlovic, Merkis, Ioannou, Joaozinho – Souza, Gentsoglou, Al Taamari, Bezjak – Matic, Pavlovic
Betting Pick: Ajax vs APOEL
Ajax players are aware that they have no room for mistake and that APOEL shouldn’t be underestimated. That is why we expect that Ajax plays maximally offensively from the first minute and that will not be satisfied with a minimal advantage. APOEL has realistically given its maximum in the 1st leg and cannot play better.
Pick: Asian handicap -2 Ajax
Odds: 1.92 at 888sport (down to 1.82 can be played)
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