After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, it is all to play for between Ajax and Nice when the two teams meet again on Wednesday night at the recently renamed Johan Cruijff Arena. Last season’s Europa League finalists came down from a goal behind in the South of France last time around, with youngster Donny van de Beek grabbing the crucial away goal. Meanwhile, Italian striker Mario Balotelli opened the scoring for Lucien Favre’s men, as the Ligue 1 side look to capitalise on their third-place finish in the French top flight last season.
They certainly have the capability to go to Holland and win, however Ajax are one of the Champions Leagues’ most successful teams, and are looking to return to the big time. With the betting odds indicating another close encounter, let’s take a look at the two teams, as well as our top betting tip for the match.
New manager Marcel Keizer will have been pleased with his team’s performance in his first competitive match in charge, with the Amsterdam-based club now looking to reach the play-off stage of the competition, having finished as runners-up in the Dutch top flight last season. Despite having lost some important players over the summer, including captain Davy Klaassen and Bertrand Traoré, Ajax still have quality throughout their squad. Youngsters including Davinson Sanchez and Matthijs de Ligt are supported by the experience of Lasse Schone and the returning Klass-Jan Huntelaar. Meanwhile, young attacking duo Kasper Dolberg and Justin Kluivert could once again lead the line against the French side.
Nice are set to name an unchanged starting line-up for their trip to Amsterdam, with Balotelli supported in attack by the likes of Bassem Srarfi and Pierre Lees Melou. The experience of Brazilian defender Dante and Cristophe Jallet could well be of assistance to the French side, with Nice having never made it through to the Champions League group stage. Having surprised the likes of PSG and Monaco in the French league last season, Ajax will certainly have to be close to their best to come out on top.
Top Betting Tip
Ajax are a formidable team in front of their home fans, with the Dutch giants the narrow favourites with the bookmakers to make it through to the play-offs in this competition once more. As a result, our top betting tip is to back Marcel Keizer’s side to beat Nice on Wednesday night. With best odds of 3/4 from bookmakers Betway, backing the Dutch giants could well be potentially lucrative, with Nice often struggling away from home.