Real Madrid v Ajax Amsterdam Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Real Madrid v Ajax Amsterdam match preview image

Champions League Real Madrid v Ajax Amsterdam

Real Madrid logo Ajax Amsterdam logo

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


Bernabeu Stadium

Punter's Pick

Ajax to steal a draw with a +1 handicap looks a useful 3/1 with Bet365, especially with Madrid not blowing teams at home in recent times. Karim Benzema can open the scoring at 15/4, also with Bet365.

European heavyweights Real Madrid and Ajax go head to head again in the second leg of their last sixteen clash, with Ajax facing an uphill challenge to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit.

Beware Madrid’s wounded pride?

The defending champions come into the second leg off the back of a disastrous few days, chiefly as a result of bitter rivals Barcelona getting the better of them. A 3-0 hammering in the Copa Del Rey was swifting followed by a 1-0 defeat in the league, as back to back ‘El Clasico’ defeats all but ended hopes of domestic glory.

Coach Santiago Solari will be under no illusions that even winning the Champions League may not be enough to keep him in a job beyond the end of the season, but it would be a great addition to his own personal CV if they could retain the trophy. With the squad looking increasingly in need of a refresh, particularly in attack, ruthless club president Florentino Perez may have a more high profile name in mind to oversee a team rebuild.

Ajax’s young guns in the shop window

With no real pressure or expectation of progressing, Ajax go into the second leg in relaxed mood with nothing to lose and everything to gain. In particularly, their highly sought emerging generation will be in the spotlight, with big money moves touted for several of them this summer. Midfielder Frenkie de Jong has already agreed to join Barcelona, and Defender Matthijs de Ligt and Forward David Neres are among a clutch of highly sought after players. With the big clubs circling, Ajax will be hard pressed to hang on to all of their talented young guns, but with current inflated transfer fees, they look set to rake in several million pounds as and when they do depart.

Team News

The headline news is Real Madrid captain and lynchpin Sergio Ramos will miss the game through suspension, but also the next round if Madrid are to progress. Deemed to have deliberately got a second yellow card in the first leg to serve out a one match suspension, Madrid and Ramos have chosen to play a dangerous game and ultimately been caught. The recriminations will not stop there should they get knocked out, a result that will surely signal the end game for the coach and several other fading stars.

Elsewhere Gareth Bale returned to the starting lineup against Barcelona on Saturday, but was largely ineffective and question marks persist whether he will be at the club next season. He may also find himself the fall guy for the weekend defeat and relegated to the subs bench for this tie.

Ajax chose to start with Dusan Tadic as the lone central forward in the first leg in Amsterdam, and it is likely that will be the case once again on Tuesday night, leaving Kasper Dolberg and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as attacking options from the bench.

Any way back for Ajax?

The Dutch giants are certainly not out of this tie, with Madrid still reeling from two body blows from Barcelona in the space of four days. If they can snatch the first goal in the tie, they can really prey on nerves in the Madrid team, particularly with their influential captain absent. The key will be whether they can play the match in front of them and not play against history, with Madrid’s formidable record in the knockout stages often enough to defeat teams before they even kick off.

Punter's Pick

Ajax to steal a draw with a +1 handicap looks a useful 3/1 with Bet365, especially with Madrid not blowing teams at home in recent times. Karim Benzema can open the scoring at 15/4, also with Bet365.

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