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Ajax vs Benfica betting tips: Champions League preview, predictions and odds


Ajax have won 20 of their last 33 European home games, scoring 60 and conceding 27. Benfica have only ever won one of 11 matches in the Netherlands, beating AZ in 2014.

Ajax to win and over 2.5 goals is 4/6.

Ajax to win and both teams to score is 13/10.

Sébastien Haller has already scored 11 goals in seven Champions League appearances. The Côte d’Ivoire international is 10/3 to break the deadlock and 8/13 to score anytime.

Match preview

After an enthralling first leg in Lisbon, it’s still very much all to play for as these two reconvene in Amsterdam.

Three weeks ago, a stunning Dušan Tadić volley gave Ajax the lead in Portugal, only for an unfortunate Sébastien Haller own goal to level things up.

Nevertheless, it finished all square when, in the second half, Gonçalo Ramos’s shot was parried by Remko Pasveer and turned home by Roman Yaremchuk.

2-2 it finished at Estádio da Luz so, with the away goals rule no more, it is winner takes all in the Netherlands.

The fact the first leg ended in a draw was somewhat surprising as many were labelling Ajax as dark horses to go far in this competition.

They became the first Dutch side to win all six group games, scoring 20 goals in wins over Borussia Dortmund, Sporting CP and Beşiktaş.

Erik ten Hag’s side are top of the Eredivisie having scored 97 goals and conceded just 11 in domestic football this season.

So, having reached the Europa League Final in 2017 and the Champions League semi-finals two years later, they’re aiming for another memorable run.

As for Benfica, they began way back in the third qualifying round, hammering Spartak Moskva before edging out PSV Eindhoven in the play-offs.

Then, As Águias pipped Barcelona to second spot in Group E, thanks largely to a 3-0 drubbing of the Catalan giants at home.

Despite all of this, it’s been a largely catastrophic domestic season for Benfica.

Just after Christmas, legendary Head Coach Jorge Jesus was sacked and Nélson Veríssimo has been in interim charge ever since.

In the Primeira Liga, Friday night’s 1-1 draw against newly-promoted Vizela leaves them third, 12 points behind leaders Porto.

These are two of the world’s great clubs with Ajax lifting four European Cups while Benfica won this competition in 1961 and 1962.

Since then, the Portuguese giants have lost in all eight European finals they’ve appeared in, possibly due to Béla Guttmann’s curse.

Who will be celebrating a quarter-final place at Johan Cruyff Arena?

Ajax team news

Erik ten Hag has a big decision to make in goal, as they certainly has may goalkeepers on their books.

Veteran Maarten Stekelenburg, Remko Pasveer who started the first leg and youngster Jay Gorter are all currently injured.

As a result of this crisis, 35 year old Przemysław Tytoń joined on a free contract after leaving FC Cincinnati in November.

However, he’s not likely to start with André Onana set to make just his seventh appearance of the campaign following a drugs ban.

In defence, both Jurriën Timber and Noussair Mazraoui, both of whom would be in the XI, are doubts after recent injuries.

In midfield, Ryan Gravenberch is their star midfield and he’ll look to dictate the game.

Antony, Dušan Tadić and Sébastien Haller form a very deadly duo.

Tadić has scored 19 goals in UEFA competition for Ajax while Haller has already scored 11 in seven in the Champions League this season.

Benfica team news

The visitors are without centre-back Lucas Veríssimo as well as strikers Haris Seferović and Rodrigo Pinho.

So, Nicolás Otamendi could line-up alongside Jan Vertonghen, forming an experienced defensive duo.

Adel Taarabt was sent off in the weekend league game but could keep his place as Julian Weigl’s midfield partner, chosen over João Mário.

Rafa Silva and Darwin Núñez are their biggest goal threats.

Núñez has scored 25 goals in 32 appearances this season, including a brace against Barcelona in the group stages.

Eredivisie table:

Primeira Liga table:


Picture of Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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