Ajax Amsterdam will lock horns with Ligue 1 outfit Nice in the second leg of an intriguing Champions League third round qualifying fixture on Wednesday night.
The tie is finely balanced following a 1-1 draw in last week’s first leg in France and the Dutch runners-up will be hoping to make home advantage count as they look to take a step towards a place in the Champions League group stages.
The Eredivisie side won admirers across the continent last term with a string of impressive performances en route to a place in the Europa League final in Stockholm. Ajax ultimately came up short against Manchester United in the final, but, nevertheless, Peter Bosz’s team earned plenty of plaudits from neutral observers.
Bosz has since moved on to take up the reins at Borussia Dortmund and, so, it is Marcel Keizer who will lead Ajax during the forthcoming campaign, having stepped up from the club’s second side to take control of first team duties.
Ajax are bet365’s 8/11 (1.73) favourites to claim a vital victory from this fixture - the Eredivisie outfit certainly boast a hugely impressive record at Amsterdam ArenA, for they have tasted defeat in just one of their last 42 competitive matches on home soil.
Nice, though, will take heart from Ajax’s less than convincing home form in this competition, for the men from Amsterdam have won just one of their last six Champions League ties on their own patch.
bet365 go 15/4 (4.75) that Nice, making their first appearance in this competition since 1960, take a big stride towards the group stages with a famous victory in this tie. There is 13/5 (3.60) that the match remains all square at the end of 90 minutes in the Dutch capital.
Ajax, however, are fairly formidable on home turf and Keizer’s men will be confident that, having come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw in last week’s first leg on French soil, that they can move into the Champions League play-off round.
As such, the Eredivisie side will relish the prospect of a return to competitive action on home soil and the Eredivisie side can be backed at 2/1 (3.0) to win to nil on Wednesday.
The selection would have landed in four of the last five European ties contested at Amsterdam ArenA and, therefore, the price on offer appears to offer decent value for punters ahead of Wednesday’s crucial Champions League clash in the Dutch capital.