Champions League qualification has now reached its final stage, with some of Europe’s biggest names having entered the equation at this point, as they bid to make it through to the group stages. Despite many famous and successful teams taking to the field this week, there is certainly none more so than Dutch side Ajax, who travel to the south of France to take on Ajax on Wednesday evening.
Having made it to last season’s Europa League final, eventually coming unstuck against Manchester United, the Dutch giants are hoping to return to Europe’s premier club competition come the start of the season. However, an encounter with Nice is certainly not a foregone conclusion, with the Ligue 1 side having finished third in the table last season. With little separating the two teams, it is expected that a whole host of punters will look to place bets on the match. As a result, let’s take a closer look at the two teams, along with our top betting tip for the match.
The home leg of the tie will take place at Allianz Riviera, where Nice are always confident of victory, no matter who the opponent is. Manager Lucien Favre achieved great success with Nice during his firsts season in charge last year, and will be looking to continue their run of form into the new season, starting with the Champions League. In terms of their playing squad, it is difficult to look beyond Mario Balotelli, with the Italian striker having performed well since his arrival in the South of France from Liverpool. The former Inter and Manchester City man is capable of the sublime on his day, which will certainly be a worry for the Ajax defence.
With a new manager in charge, as well as having to deal with the loss of some of their key performers from last season, Ajax head into the new campaign as something of an unknown quantity. Captain Davy Klaassen, along with Kenny Tete and Bertrand Traore have all departed, with former fans favourite Klass-Jan Huntelaar having rejoined the club. Ajax lost out in the race for the Dutch league title on the final day of last season, with manager Marcel Ziezer having made the step up from Jong Ajax to take over first team duties.
Top Betting Tip
Despite Ajax being one of the standout names in the final qualifying stage, Nice’s home record shows just why they achieved such great success last season. As a result, our top betting tip is to back the French side for victory, which can be found at best odds of 13/10 with bookmakers SkyBet.