Ajax will look to continue their excellent start in the Champions League when Benfica visit the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Tuesday. Kick-off in Amsterdam is 8pm. 

Erik ten Hag’s side has had an excellent start in group E and sits top of the table after a comfortable win over AEK Athens and well-earned draw at Bayern Munich.

Ajax now hosts Portuguese giants Benfica looking for a victory which would move them to within touching distance of the next round. They warmed up for the match with a comfortable 4-0 victory at Heerenveen on Saturday which kept them second in the Eredivisie.

The Amsterdammers haven’t lost at home so far this season with their 3-0 loss at PSV Eindhoven in the league their only defeat of the campaign so far in all competitions.

Opponents Benfica lost their opening game against Bayern Munich but came away with a 3-2 victory against AEK Athens in Greece. Coached by Rui Vitória, Benfica currently sits top of the Portuguese lSuper Lig after an unbeaten start to their league campaign.

A 1-0 win over rivals Porto two weeks ago was followed up by a 3-0 cup victory against Sertanense which allowed Vitoria to rest some of his key men for the trip to Amsterdam. The Cup game was last Thursday, meaning Benfica have had two extra days than Ajax to prepare for the clash.

Team News

Noussair Mazraoui returned from Morocco with a slight injury which kept him on the bench for the tie with Heerenveen but he should be fit again, while Hakim Ziyech and Frenkie de Jong are back to full fitness. Nicolas Tagliafico is a major doubt, while Daley Sinkgraven, Joel Veltman and Hassane Bande are the long-term injuries.

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

Vitoria has some big concerns coming into the tie with key centre-back Mario Dias suspended after picking up a red against AEK Athens. His usual partner in defence, Jardel, has also been injured for a while and is a big doubt for the match. Former ADO Den Haag full-back Tyronne Ebuehi is out.

Possible Benfica line-up: Vlachodimos, Almeida, Conti, Grimaldo, Lema, Fejsa, Fernandes, Pizzi, Salvio, Silva, Seferovic

Odds

Ajax 1/1 Draw 13/5 Benfica 3/1

Head to Head

Two giants of the European game, Benfica and Ajax have met on five occasions but not since the 1972 European Cup which saw Ajax triumph in the semi-final before lifting the trophy. Benfica have only beaten Ajax once, 3-1 during the 1st leg of their 1969 European Cup Quarter-final.

Can Ajax continue their excellent start?

This is a massive tie for both clubs. After the draw was made it was clear that the ties between Ajax and Benfica would probably decide who finishes second in the group.

Both have had excellent starts to the season but Ajax are in a better position having come away from Munich with a point. A victory for Erik ten Hag’s men on Tuesday would keep them top of the group and move them four points ahead of the Portuguese side.

The Johan Cruijff ArenA will be packed out and Ajax will look to get off to a quick start and get on the front foot. Pressuring Benfica’s shaky and makeshift defence will be key to victory. Ajax have scored nine goals and conceded none in their last two matches and their attacking talent can take them past Benfica.

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