Ajax will look to book their place in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday when they host Lille. The kick-off is at 17.55.

Last week in France, Ajax dominated the game but fell behind before goals from Dusan Tadic and Brian Brobbey gave Erik ten Hag’s side an advantage heading into the second leg.

Ajax are in great form and their 4-2 win over Sparta Rotterdam at the weekend was their tenth victory in a row. Ajax remains six points clear at the top of the Eredivisie with a game in hand.

Lille bounced back from the defeat to Lorient 4-1 which keeps them top of the Ligue 1 table.

Speaking to the press, Ten Hag has warned his side to be strong defensively in order to prevent Lille getting chances on the counter attack, “Our defensive switch is getting better and better. That is also very important tomorrow. Lille is an incredibly sharp counter attacking side. We must not let them use their pace. If we do, they can be very dangerous in front of goal. Lille has learned from the match in France too. They will also adapt. ”

Team News

Ajax have confirmed that Noussair Mazraoui and Nicolas Tagliafico will miss the game, while Andre Onana and Sebastien Haller are also missing.

Ryan Gravenberch will come back into the midfield after being suspended last week.

Possible Ajax line-up: Stekelenberg, Rensch, Blind, Martinez, Timber, Alvarez, Gravenberch, Klaassen, Antony, Neres, Tadic

Lille have been boosted by the return of midfielders Benjamin Andre and Xeka after suspension. Burak Yilmaz is out.

Possible Lille line-up: Maignan; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Weah, Andre, Sanches, Bamba; David, Yazici

Odds

Ajax 10/11 Draw 11/4 Lille 11/4

Can Ajax book their place in the last 16?

Ajax were excellent in France last week and fully deserved to come away from the game with a victory.

However, Lille are strong away from home and they beat AC Milan 4-0 in Italy earlier this season. Ajax will need to guard against the counter-attack and keep it tight defensively.

The loss of Tagliafico is a blow, but Lisandro Martinez and Jurrien Timber have been excellent in recent weeks, which will allow Daley Blind to play out on the left.

Up front, Dusan Tadic is in good form and he can cause Lille plenty of problems. Ajax have two away goals which puts them in an excellent position. An early goal for the hosts could help ease the nerves.

Ajax reaching the last 16 would be huge for the Dutch coefficient.




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