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Ajax – AEK Athens

Ajax AEK Athens betting preview

Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam will make their return to Champions League football after 4 years, and the first match will see them host Greek Champions AEK Athens. The two teams are in Group E alongside Bayern Munich and Benfica.

Ajax had a very good season last year, but even so today`s hosts only managed to finish second, as PSV had a brilliant campaign. This season Ajax is continuing on the same note. They have 3 wins and 1 draw in Eredivisie, and more importantly they have been excellent in the Champions League qualifiers. Ajax got trough a tough qualifying draw, defeating Sturm Graz (5-1 aggregate), Standard Liege (5-2) and Dynamo Kiev (3-1) – winning all home games against these teams.

AEK Athens managed to claim the Greek title last year but it was a very controversial achievement. AEK benefited from a default 3-0 win against rivals PAOK after some crazy events in the season`s title decider between the two sides, with many believing that PAOK were the real champions. This year AEK started off with 3 comprehensive wins out of 3 games domestically, but had a tough time qualifying for the Champions League group stages. The visitors claimed difficult aggregate wins against Celtic and MOL Vidi (3-2 in each tie).

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Team news & lineups:

Ajax will miss Veltman, Cerny and Bande, while Dolberg is doubtful, but will likely be on the bench. AEK Athens misses a number of key players via injury or suspension. The visitors will be without Livaja, Bakasetas, Helder Lopes and Boye, while Babis and Albanis are questionable.

Ajax Amsterdam: Onana – Mazraoui, Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico – De Jong, Schone – Ziyech, Neres, Tadic – Huntelaar

AEK Athens: Barkas – Bakakis, Lampropoulos, Oikonomou, Hult – Galanopoulos, Andre Simoes – Mantalos, Klonaridis, Gianniotas – Ponce

I have to admit at a first glance I considered odds around 1.35 on an Ajax victory to be a bit low, but after a more in depth analysis I have changed my opinion. A bet on the hosts might be worth it here.

AEK will be without at least 3 key players and that will weaken their potential. It will be difficult to take on Ajax at Amsterdam Arena without important guys like Livaja, Bakasetas or Helder Lopes. The absences will definitely hurt them offensively, as Livaja and Bakasetas are arguably the most important pieces in AEK’s offensive setup. Plus, two other players who would have probably acted as replacements in this situation (the regular left back Lopes and Boye) are also out.

The Dutch vice champions have been exceptional at home this season particularly in the Champions League qualifiers, where they beat Sturm Graz, Standard and Dynamo Kiev by at least two goals.

In great form, with home court advantage and facing a weakened opponent without any Champions League experience, Ajax should at least win this by one goal. But looking at how they dismantled the likes of Standard Liege or Dynamo Kiev at Amsterdam Arena, it`s not unreasonable to thing about a larger win if they are on a good day. You would expect Ajax to score at least twice here, while AEK’s decimated offense might struggle to create chances.

My tip will be Ajax to win with a -1 asian handicap. They certainly need a victory in this one if they are to challenge Benfica for the second place in the group. Prediction: Ajax – AEK Athens 2-0.

Pick: Ajax (-1 Asian Handicap)
Odds: 1.64 @ Sbobet
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 5.12
Event date: 19 September

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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One Response

  1. excellent gud work n kip it up

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