Ajax can book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday when they face AEK Athens in Greece. Kick-off is at 17.55pm UK time. 

After an excellent group stage so far, Ajax are within touching distance of the knockout rounds. The Amsterdammers are currently four points ahead of Benfica and bettering or equaling the Portuguese side’s result on Tuesday will seal their place in the last 16. Benfica must head to Bayern Munich looking for a win to prevent Ajax’s progression.

Ajax are currently on a 12 game unbeaten run, which includes draws at Bayern Munich and Benfica, while they comfortably saw off NAC Breda 3-0 at the weekend.

Opponents AEK Athens, on the other hand, are in a rotten run of form which has seen them lose three games on the bounce and they have also failed to pick up a single point in the Champions League. Rumours in Greece state that head coach Marinos Ouzounidis could be fired if Ajax triumph on Tuesday.

The reverse fixture in Amsterdam finished in a comfortable 3-0 victory for Ajax.

Team News

Ajax will once again be without the injured Hakim Ziyech for the trip to Greece, while Nicolas Tagliafico is suspended. Hassane Bande, Daley Sinkgraven and Joel Veltman are still all out. Donny van de Beek came off against NAC but is expected to be fit to face AEK.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Mazraoui, Wober, De Ligt, Blind, Schone, De Jong, van de Beek, Neres, Tadic, Dolberg

AEK Athens are without left-back Helder Lopes but have a fully fit squad to choose from otherwise.

Possible AEK line-up: Barkas, Bakakis, Hult, Cosic, Lambropoulos, Simoes, Alef, Manadalos, Bakasetas, Livaja, Ponce

Odds

AEK Athens 17/4 Draw 14/5 Ajax 3/4

Can Ajax seal their place in the knockout rounds?

Ajax has been excellent in Europe so far and it seems almost certain that they will take a place in the knockout rounds. However, a win in Greece is crucial if Ten Hag’s side is to overtake Bayern Munich and take top spot.

AEK Athens are in a bad place but will be determined to at least get one point in this group. Ajax, on the other hand, are playing some great football and head to Greece full of confidence and with a real chance of achieving a victory. Hakim Ziyech is a big miss, but in Neres or Zakaria Labyad, Ten Hag has suitable replacements.

Sealing a last 16 place will not only be huge for Ajax but also the Dutch coefficient. Having a club in the Champions League knockout rounds should be enough to ensure Netherlands gets back an automatic Champions League place going forward.




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