Ajax host AEK Athens on Wednesday as they look to get their Champions League group stage campaign underway with a victory. Kick off at the Johan Cruyff ArenA is 5.55pm. 

Ajax are back in the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2014/15 season, and the draw has been kinder to the Amsterdammers than it was to PSV Eindhoven. Erik ten Hag side will come up against Bayern Munich, Benfica and AEK Athens and he will feel they can definitely compete for second place.

Wednesday’s clash with AEK Athens is crucial, though, and Ajax will be looking to get off to a winning start. Ten Hag’s side are unbeaten so far this season, winning four out of five in the league and coming through tricky Champions League qualifiers with Sturm Graz, Standard Liege and Dynamo Kiev. On Saturday, Ajax comfortably defeated Groningen 3-0 and sit second in the league table.

Opponents AEK Athens are featured in the group stages for the first time since the 2006/07 season after defeating Celtic and Vidi in the qualifying rounds. The Greek side has overcome financial issues and relegation to the third division in the past few years and won their league title for the first time since 1994 last season.

Coached by Marinos Ouzounidis, AEK are unbeaten in Europe so far and have won three out of three in the league.

Team News

Erik ten Hag is likely to stick with the same eleven that defeated Groningen at the weekend but Kasper Dolberg could make his return from the bench. Daley Sinkgraven and Joel Veltman are still out through injury.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Mazraoui, Tagliafico, De Ligt, Blind, Schone, F De Jong, Ziyech, Neres, Tadic, Huntelaar

New signing Lucas Boyé is still not fit enough to make his debut but otherwise, AEK Athens go into the game with no fresh injury worries. Belgian attacker Viktor Klonaridis is one to watch having scored four goals in the last two games.

Possible AEK Athens line-up: Barkas, Bakakis, Lopes, Chygrynskiy, Lambropoulos, Simões, Alef, Bakasetas, Klonaridis, Livaja, Ponce

Odds

Ajax 2/5 Draw 4/1 AEK 8/1

Previous Meetings

The two sides have only met twice, during the group stages of the 1994/95 Champions League campaign with Ajax winning both home and away. A 2-1 win in Greece was followed up by a 2-0 victory in Amsterdam.

AEK have never won a game in the Netherlands.

Can Ajax begin with a victory

Ajax have been excellent in Europe this season and they head into the clash with AEK Athens, scoring plenty of goals and full of confidence.

The partnership of Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic has been excellent while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been in fine form. If all three are on song then Ajax should have too much for AEK Athens. However, the Greeks shouldn’t be underestimated and are unbeaten this season.

A packed out Johan Cruyff ArenA which will be full of noise should give Ajax another boost as they look for a crucial victory heading into games against Bayern Munich and Benfica. If Ajax are to progress to the next round, a win against AEK is a must.




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