Ajax travels to Bergamo for a clash with Atalanta on Tuesday in their second Champions League group game. Kick-off is at 8pm.

Last week, Ajax fell to a slender 1-0 loss to Liverpool in their opening group game, despite creating plenty of chances against the Premier League champions.

Ajax now needs to bounce back, but they face a tricky trip to Bergamo to face Atalanta, who reached the quarter-finals in this competition last season. Last week they easily defeated Midtjylland 4-0 in Denmark to make the perfect start.

However, Atalanta have lost their last two Serie A games, including a 3-1 loss at home to Sampdoria at the weekend. While Ajax warmed up for the game by breaking the Eredivisie record for biggest win with a 13-0 victory over VVV-Venlo.

Atalanta are in their second ever Champions League campaign, having reached the quarter-finals last time round before going down to PSG. They finished third in Seria A last season.

Team News

Ajax head into the game without Mohammed Kudus, who will be out of action for months, while Klaas Jan Huntelaar has also stayed behind in Amsterdam.

Antony returns to the squad, while 18-year-old Brian Brobbey could make his debut.

Noussair Mazraoui will come back in at right-back, while Ten Hag must decide whether to start with Lassina Traore after he netted five goals against VVV at the weekend.

It is likely that Ten Hag will go for more experience, and bring Quincy Promes back into the line-up.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Mazraoui, Tagliafico, Blind, Schuurs, Martinez, Gravenberch, Klaassen, Promes, Antony, Tadic

Marten de Roon is a doubt for the game, but Hans Hateboer should start for the Italians. Sam Lammers is likely to be on the bench.

Gian Piero Gasperini rested some players at the weekend, but will bring back his star players for the visit of Ajax.

Possible Atalanta line-up (5-3-2): Sportiello, Hateboer, Gosens, Toloi, Djimsiti, Romero, Malinovskyi, Freuler, Gomez, Zapata, Muriel

Odds

Atalanta 3/4 Draw 16/5 Ajax 3/1

Avoiding defeat would be great for Ajax

It is going to be a very tough game for Ajax in Bergamo and they have to be wary of Atalanta’s excellent attack, especially Zapata up front.

However, Atalanta is not unbeatable and they are not as strong as Liverpool, so it is not to be ruled out that Ajax can get a draw or even a victory on Tuesday.

Ajax’s defence has looked good recently, and up front, the return of Antony will be a big boost for Erik ten Hag’s side.

With two must-win games against Midtjylland coming up next, Ajax need to prevent a defeat to stop themselves from being cut adrift in the group. The confidence of the weekends win could be crucial for Ajax in what should be an excellent game.




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