UEFA Champions League: Juventus vs Ajax preview


Serie A champions Juventus are determined to go for Champions League glory this season and the next step is to defeat Ajax Amsterdam when the two sides meet at Allianz Stadium in Turin on Tuesday in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals tie. The first leg ended 1-1, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for the Bianconeri in last week's game and Brazilian forward David Neres bagged the equalizer at the start of the second half. Overall, Juventus have won six of their thirteen matches against Ajax in Europe, while the Dutch side won just two matches, but one of them was the European Champions' Cup final in 1973.

Juventus have suffered a rare defeat at the weekend, 2-1 at Spal in Serie A, but they are not worried about it at all because the title is almost secured. Moreover, head coach Massimiliano Allegri rested several key players like Blaise Matuidi, Mario Mandzukic and, obviously, Cristiano Ronaldo. These three were not even included in the match squad, while other important names like Alex Sandro and Leonardo Bonucci were kept on the bench. Giorgio Chiellini, Douglas Costa, Emre Can and Martin Caceres are all out injured, while Blaise Matuidi is a doubt after having picked up a knock in the first leg.

Ajax are hoping for another second-leg miracle on Tuesday, in the previous round they did pull off an impossible result by winning 4-1 at Real Madrid after a 2-1 home defeat in the first leg. That result gave them a lot of confidence and their domestic form has improved significantly after it, they won six of their seven matches in the Dutch top flight and are tied with PSV Eindhoven at the top of the table. Last week Ajax secured a 6-2 victory over Excelsior in the Dutch league, but they were unable to rest any players for Tuesday's game. Carel Eiting will miss the game through injury, while Hassane Bande is doubtful.

Probable line-ups:

Juventus: Szczesny - Cancelo, Bonnuci, Rugani, Sandro - Pjanic, Bentancur, Matuidi - Bernardeschi, Ronaldo, Mandzukic

Ajax: Onana - Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico - De Jong, Schone, Van de Beek, Ziyech, Neres - Tadic

My prediction: Juventus to win 2-1, the Bianconeri won't let this opportunity slip away.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Juventus win - 1.72
Draw - 3.80
Ajax win - 5.50

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