Ajax travel to Turin for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals
Venue: Juventus Stadium(Allianz Stadium), Turin
Date: Wednesday, 17/04/2019
Kick-off: 12:30 Am IST
Juventus are set to face off against Ajax on home turf after drawing 1-1 with the Dutch squad in the 1st leg of the UCL. Both teams have been subject to a lot of praise regarding several angles of the game, whether it’s the abundance of great young talent, experience players, managers and their tactics or tenacity. Juventus are almost confirmed to win the Serie A.
With a whopping 17-point lead and six games to spare, Bianconeri have lost only two games in their respective league. Ajax is also no.1 in their league( Eredivisie) but they are level on points with second-placed Eindhoven so there is very little room for error. Players have been exceptional for both teams.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been sensational on the pitch, making his mark on all the big matches, Atletico’s match being the most prominent. He’s not the only one as Bernardeschi, Pjanic, Chiellini, Bonucci, Dybala and Szczesny have also pulled their weight. On the dutch side, similar things could be said for Tadic, De Jong, De Ligt and Hakim Ziyech.
TEAM NEWS AND LINEUPS:
Cristiano Ronaldo is guaranteed to play at full energy after being rested on the defeat against SPAL. There are injury woes with the likes of Chiellini, Caceres, Emre Can and Douglas Costa who are all expected to sit this one out. Things are looking doubtful for Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado for similar reasons. Expect a Dybala-Bernardeschi swap sometime in the game.
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3):
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Rugani, Sandro; Pjanic, Khedira, Bentancur; Bernardeschi, Kean, Ronaldo
Hassane Bande and Carel Eiting will probably miss the game because of injury. Frenkie De Jong had a slight hamstring issue but his potential absence is far from confirmed. There’s a chance of Mazraoui starting instead of Sinkgraven. Due to splendid recent form, Ajax will probably try to refrain from altering their standard squad.
Predicted Starting XI(4-2-3-1):
Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Sinkgraven; De Jong, Schone; Ziyech, Van de Beek, Neres; Tadic
AFC Ajax: W-W-W-D-W
SCORE PREDICTION: Juventus 2-1 Ajax
Very slight edge to Juventus. Ajax have scored 19 goals in the last 5 games but Juventus have been very consistent throughout the season. They have a strong backline, even with all the absence and will be able to shut down Ajax’s attack, led by Tadic. They have Cristiano Ronaldo on their side, who has been incredible in the last couple of UCL games and a plethora of world-class talent to help him venture forth and score against the Dutch side.