Ajax can book their place in the Champions League group stages on Wednesday when they host APOEL Nicosia. Kick-Off in Amsterdam is 8pm.

After their successful run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, Ajax are now just ninety minutes away from returning to the competition’s group stages.

The tie remains in Ajax’s hands but they were frustrated last week in Cyprus and left with a 0-0 draw.

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag told his press conference that he is confident of progression on Wednesday, “I have not had the feeling this week that things are not going to work out well.

“0-0 is a dangerous result from a European perspective, but also a good result in a away match. We have it in our hands and must now finish it at home. We have faith in ourselves and know what we stand for. We are going to give everything and then we are confident that it will be okay.”

The KNVB gave Ajax the weekend off in order to prepare for the second leg. APOEL Nicosia have also not played since last week.

Team News

Ajax are without the suspended Noussair Mazraoui, while Donny van de Beek is injured.

Quincy Promes has recovered from a knock and is available for selection.

Ten Hag may decide to move Hakim Ziyech into van de Beek’s position, while Promes or Klaas-Jan Huntelaar could then come into the side.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Dest, Tagliafico, Martinez, Veltman, Marin, Blind, Ziyech, Neres, Tadic, Huntelaar

APOEL Nicosia have no fresh injury concerns and could pick the same eleven that gave Ajax trouble last week.

Possible APOEL Line-up: Belec, Mihajlovic, Graca, Merkis, Ioannou, Gentsoglou, De Souza, Al Tamari, Bezjak, Matic, Pavlovic

Odds

Ajax 1/6 Draw 13/2 APOEL Nicosia 12/1

What to expect from the second leg

Ajax are firm favourites for the clash and should be too strong at home for the Cypriot side.

However, not scoring in Cyprus means that Ajax are always in fear of an away goal. APOEL were dangerous on the counter last week and Ajax will need to be wary of them and make sure they take their chances.

Ajax will go looking for an early goal which will ease any fears that the home crowd may feel.

It is crucial that Ajax book their place in the Champions League group stages for Dutch football and it would be a major shock if they don’t achieve that goal on Wednesday.




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