Ajax head to the Bernabeu on Tuesday needing to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Real Madrid to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Kick-off is 8pm.

Ajax played Real Madrid off the park at times during the first leg but couldn’t take their chances, while VAR controversially ruled out Nicolas Tagliafico’s header.

Just as Ajax were dominating, Karim Benzema put the visitors in front before Hakim Ziyech deservedly leveled. The game looked like it was heading for a draw but Marco Asensio’s late winner means Real Madrid head into the second leg with a big advantage.

Ajax head to the Bernabeu knowing they will need to score at least twice if they are to have any chance of progression.

Their form since the first-leg has been encouraging with five goals put past both NAC Breda and ADO Den Haag before they beat Feyenoord 3-0 in Rotterdam to progress to the KNVB Cup final. They were also given the weekend off by the KNVB with their clash against PEC Zwolle pushed back in order to give them extra time to prepare.

Real Madrid on the other hand go into the tie under plenty of pressure after three straight home defeats and two on the bounce against Barcelona in the last week.

Erik ten Hag told his press conference on Monday that he watched both losses against Barcelona, “In it you see their vulnerabilities. But we have already demonstrated this in Amsterdam.”

With the title race all but over in Spain, Real Madrid will now need to progress in the Champions League to prevent their season from being a failure.

Team News

Ajax have no new injury concerns or suspensions so are likely to name the same eleven that went down in the first-leg.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Mazraoui, Tagliafico, De Ligt, Blind, Schone, De Jong, Van de Beek, Neres, Ziyech, Tadic

Real Madrid will be without the suspended Sergio Ramos, who was their man of the match in Amsterdam. However, Raphael Varane is back after missing the first-leg.

Possible Real Madrid line-up: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Reguilon; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Bale

Odds

Real Madrid are unsurprisingly favourites for the clash at 3/5 while an Ajax win is 4/1. The draw is 13/5.

You can get 9/1 that Ajax qualifies for the next round.

Last chance for Dutch coefficient

Austria overtook Netherlands into 11th spot in the UEFA Coefficient list during the last round of Europa League matches thanks to Red Bull Salzburg’s progression.

Only an Ajax win would see Netherlands jump back into 11th and get an automatic Champions League group spot for the 2020/21 season.

Can Ajax stun Real Madrid?

Ajax were excellent during the first-leg at times but the 2-1 defeat puts them in at a massive disadvantage going to the Bernabeu. Real Madrid have won the competition for the last three years in a row and are experts in this competition.

The squad will also be reeling after two straight losses to Barcelona and they will be keen to progress in this competition. To have a chance of progressing, Ajax will need to take any chances that come their way early on and then defend perfectly. Two things that were missing in the first-leg.

For Dutch football a win would be massive but Ajax have already exceeded expectations in the competition. Real Madrid may just be a step too far.

Podcast Preview

Want more? Listen to our podcast where we discuss Ajax’s chances in the second leg. You can watch the video below or download it on I-Tunes.




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