Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final first leg tie between Ajax Amsterdam and Schalke 04 promises to be a fascinating fixture.
Peter Bosz’s side are in sparkling form on the domestic scene, dropping just four points in their last 13 Eredivisie fixtures – a sequence of results that leaves Ajax just one point adrift of Feyenoord at the top of the table with just four fixtures remaining.
Ajax, too, can lay claim to a tremendous home record; they are unbeaten in their last 19 matches at Amsterdam ArenA in all competitions – claiming a 2-0 home win against Copenhagen in the previous round of this competition to overturn a 2-1 defeat in Denmark in the first leg of that tie.
The Dutch side can be backed at 29/20 (2.45) with Betfair Sportsbook to further extend their impressive unbeaten streak on home soil with success against Schalke on Thursday night, with 23/10 (3.30) that the match remains deadlocked at the end of 90 minutes.
Schalke are struggling to find their best form, having won just three of their last 13 matches in all competitions, although Markus Weinzierl’s charges will surely take some confidence from a resounding 4-1 league win against Wolfsburg at the weekend.
The Bundesliga outfit would dearly love to replicate that performance in the Dutch capital and there is 15/8 (2.88) that the visitors seize the initiative in the tie by taking an advantage into next week’s return leg in Germany.
Ajax have scored nine goals in their last two matches and those anticipating an open, entertaining encounter may be tempted by the 19/20 (1.95) quote for at least three goals to be scored when these two teams lock horns, or 3/4 (1.75) that there are goals at both ends – a selection that would have landed in each of the last four fixtures that Bosz’s side have fulfilled.
It is worth noting, though, that fewer than three goals have been scored in all but one of Ajax’s last six matches in this competition, while there have been no more than two goals scored in six of Schalke’s last eight Europa League ties. There could be value, therefore, in backing fewer than three goals to be scored when these teams meet and that play is priced up at 4/5 (1.80) chance with Betfair Sportsbook.
Ajax’s superb home form, though, is difficult to ignore and backing Bosz’s side at 29/20 (2.45) to enjoy another win at Amsterdam ArenA against the out-of-sorts visitors may offer punters a solid selection at a fair price.