Ajax travel to Cyprus to face APOEL Nicosia in their second Champions League group match on Tuesday evening looking to end a run of seven away matches in Europe without a win.

ajanaFrank de Boer’s side came from behind in match-day one to earn a respectable draw against PSG at the Amsterdam Arena, but if they are to qualify for the knockout stages they need to find a good result in Cyprus, especially with two matches against Barcelona coming next.

Ajax go into the game in confident mood after hammering NAC Breda 5-2 at the weekend, but they need to look back to 2011 and a tie with Dinamo Zagreb to find their last away win in Europe.

APOEL Nicosia came away from the Nou camp with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in the opening round of matches, and the Cypriot champions will be no pushovers for Ajax. Since their loss to Barcelona, APOEL recorded two league wins and a draw, which sees them sit top of their domestic league.

De Boer has stated pre-match that midfielder Lasse Schone only has a 70% chance of making the starting line-up, while he is also undecided on whether Niki Zimling or Nick Viergever will start in the midfield. After his hat-trick at the weekend Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is certain to start up front.

Possible Ajax line-up: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Boilesen, Veltman, Moisander, Zimling/Viergever, Serero, Klaassen, El Ghazi, Schone/Andersen, Sigthorsson

APOEL have injury concerns over striker Rafik Djebbour and defender Anastasios Papazoglou ahead of the game, but both also missed the loss to Barcelona two weeks ago.

Possible APOEL line-up: Pardo, Mario Sergio, Antoniades, Guilherme, Carlao, Tiago Gomes, Nuno Morais, Aloneftis, Vinicius, De Vicenti, Sheridan

Previous meetings:

The two sides have never met before, but the last time Ajax were in Cyprus they easily saw off Apollon Limassol 3-0 in the UEFA Cup back in 2002, with Rafael van der Vaart, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wamberto on the scoresheet.

Key Players:

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson: Sigthorsson went into the weekend without a goal so far this season, but he netted a hat-trick in the win over NAC even though he missed a penalty. Ajax will need the Icelandic striker to keep up that form if they are to come away with a win.

Cillian Sheridan: The former Celtic striker is set to start up front for APOEL on Tuesday and he will pose one of the biggest threat’s for the Ajax defence. The Irish international has yet to hit top form for the Cypriot side since joining in 2013, and has only netted six goals in 31 matches so far, but he could turn that round by downing the Dutch champions.

Davy Klaassen: The attacking midfielder put in a man of the match performance at the weekend after recording three assists against NAC, and in Cyprus it will be up to Klaassen to once again weave his magic. Against Barcelona, APOEL showed they have a tight defence, and Ajax will need Klaassen to find a way through.

Prediction:

Frank de Boer has stated his ambition as Ajax coach is to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, and if they are to do so then they will need to gain six points from their two ties against APOEL. Ajax are starting to show good form in the league, and if they are at their best on Tuesday a win is definitely achievable, but APOEL are an experienced side, and they may frustrate the Eredivisie champions.

APOEL 1-1 Ajax




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