Ajax have to overturn a 2-1 defecit in the Amsterdam Arena on Thursday to book their place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Last week in the first leg, Ajax got off to a terrible start in Denmark with Copenhagen taking the lead within the first minute, but Kasper Dolberg equalised before half time with a crucial away goal. However, Andreas Cornelius netted a second half winner for the Danes to ensure they have the advantage heading into the second leg on Thursday.

Speaking to the media, Ajax boss Peter Bosz thinks his side played well last week and believes they are the better football side, “I’m an optimistic person anyway. When I look back, I think we played well there. Of course we had a false start, but then we started to play football. We will not jump higher, we are not physically stronger, but I think we can play football better. ”

However, Copenhagen striker Andreas Cornelius believes Ajax’s defence will give them chances to win the tie in Amsterdam, “I’m assuming that their tactics will be the same. They have a very clear concept. Ajax is a strong team, but by the way they defend, they sometimes give chances away. ”

Ajax warmed up for the second leg with a 3-0 win over FC Twente on Sunday with Kasper Dolberg grabbing a double. Copenhagen made it four wins in a row with a 2-0 victory over Esbjerg, which keeps them 12 points clear at the top of the league.

Team News

Ajax must do without the suspended Davy Klaassen but welcome both Joel Veltman and Davinson Sanchez back to the squad after they missed the first leg last week. Daley Sinkgraven is fit again, but Jairo Riedewald has been left out of the squad. The job of replacing Klaassen is set to be handed to Donny van de Beek.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Veltman, Sinkgraven, Sanchez, Viergever, Schone, van de Beek, Ziyech, Traore, Younes, Dolberg

Copenhagen will be without former PSV defender Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jørgensen who is suspended. He will be replaced by Jores Okore.

Possible Copenhagen line-up: Olsen, Ankersen, Augustinsson, Johansson, Okare, Falk, Toutouh, Kvist, Matic, Santander, Cornelius


Ajax: 17/20 Draw: 13/5 Copenhagen: 15/4

What Ajax need to do to progress

Ajax need to win to book their place in the next round. A 1-0 win is the only result that would see them through on away goals. 2-1 takes the game to extra time. Two away goals for Copenhagen would make the tie almost impossible for Ajax, who would have to win at least 4-2 to progress.

Worryingly for Ajax, Copenhagen have only lost once away from home in Europe so far this season, 1-0 to Leicester City during the Champions League group stage. They drew with Porto, and beat both Club Brugge and Ludogorets away from home. However, the good news is that Ajax have won all four of their home games in the Europa League so far this season, with three of those games ending with a clean sheet for the Amsterdam side.

A win and a clean sheet tomorrow would ensure Ajax’s place in the draw for the last eight.

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