Prediction: Ajax vs Roma – Football news
Posted On April 7, 2021
Verdict: home win
Best odds: 1
One of the most interesting matches of the Europa League quarter-finals this season will see four-time continental champions Ajax take on AS Roma, with the first leg taking place in Johan Cruijff Arena this Thursday. If they win, the Dutch team will tie the record for 11 straight home wins in this competition, while the Italians will look to continue the streak that has so far seen them win all four knockout games of this campaign.
Ajax started the season in the Champions League but failed to secure a pass in the first leg and only managed to finish third in Group D, behind Liverpool and Atalanta, passing only Midtjylland . They were thus forced to take a step into the round of 16 of the Europa League, where they beat Lille OSC by 2-1 in both matches, before beating Young Boys 5-0 on aggregate in the round of 16.
Domestically, Ajax are a dominant force. For the moment, they dominate the Eredivisie with 69 points, 11 more than PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar in second and third places respectively, while having a game in hand of their two closest rivals. As it stands, they are three wins away from clinching their 35th title as champions of the Netherlands.
As for recent form, Erik ten Hag’s team have won their last six games in all competitions; 3-1 at home against Groningen, 3-0 at home against Young Boys, 0-2 away against PEC Zwolle, 0-2 away against Young Boys, 5-0 at home against Den Haag and 1-2 away in Heerenveen.
Goalkeeper Marteen Stekelenburg is in doubt for this game and he is unlikely to face the club for which he made 55 appearances between 2011 and 2013. With Andre Onana still suspended for doping, the Netherlands Under-21 international Kjell Scherpen is set to make his senior European debut.
Besides the goalkeeper issues, Ten Hag also has a problem with defenders. Former Manchester United player Daley Blind is absent with a knee problem, the same as center-back Perr Schuurs. Right-back Noussair Mazraoui suffered a head injury in February and is yet to return, while Sean Klaiber, also right-back, has become a father this week and will likely be on leave.
Roma have been superb in the Europa League this season. They finished first in Group A, ahead of Young Boys, CFR Cluj and CSKA Sofia, they beat Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk twice each to advance to the round of 16.
In contrast, things don’t look so good in Serie A, where they have a difficult path ahead of them if they plan to play in Europe again next season. For now, Paulo Fonseca’s side are in seventh place with 51 points, five behind Juventus in fourth and Napoli in fifth, and one behind city rivals Lazio and all those teams. have a game in hand over Roma. Of course, with nine games to go, nothing is settled yet, but it won’t be easy.
Roma have won three, drawn and lost two of their last six games in all competitions; they beat Genoa 1-0 at home, Shakhtar at home by 3-0, lost 2-0 away to Parma, beat Shakhtar away by 1-2, lost 0-2 at home by Napoli and drew 2-2 at Sassuolo. .
Fonseca will be unable to call forward Stephan El Shaarawy (thigh), defender Marash Kumbulla (knee), defender Chris Smalling (knee), forward Nicolo Zaniolo (knee) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (calf). Midfielder Jordan Veretout has just returned from a serious thigh problem and could feature, although it’s not too likely.
Ajax are flying high right now. They seem full of confidence and they have a feeling they could shatter Roma’s success in Europe.
Verdict: home win
Best odds: 1