Dutch Champions look set to cap off their season with a Europa League title as they welcome Rona for the quarter finals’ first leg. The match schedules for Thursday at Johann Cruijjf Arena, with a kickoff at 10 pm.
The hosts will take advantage of the first leg at home given their thrilling form with eyes keen on a record-equalling 11th successive home win in the competition. On the other hand, the visitors have won all their four matches in the knockout phase this year.
Ajax started the season in the Champions League while finishing third behind Liverpool and overachievers Atalanta. A consolation prize was given in the form of the ninth appearance in the Europa League knockout phase.
The transition remains seamless for the Dutch giants by edging out Lille twice in the last 32 before completing another double in the next round. The side recorded an impressive double over Young Boys with a 5-0 aggregate.
Moreover, the side won their previous eight in 2017 while scoring in extra time to knock out Schalke 04 en route to the final. The home side is unbeaten at the Johann Cruijff since losing to RB Salzburg in 2014.
Roma has maintained a high consistency in Europe’s second-tier competition, having getting knocked out of Group A in the autumn. Fonscesca’s men look keen on finishing off top four in the Serie A.
Ajax vs. Roma Head to Head
Both sides are yet to meet at this stage of the competition. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Heerenveen 1-2 Ajax
Ajax 5-0 ADO Den Haag
Young Boys 0-2 Ajax
Ajax 3-0 Young Boys
Ajax 3-1 FC Groningen
Sassuolo 2-2 Roma
Roma 0-2 Napoli
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-2 Roma
Parma 2-0 Roma
Roma 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
Ajax Team News
Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg remains a doubt to feature against his former club while struggling with a knee injury. Defensive absentee includes Noussair Mazraoui after sustaining a head injury.
Roma Team News
El Shaaraway sets to miss out on this clash after picking up a thigh injury in the draw to Sassuolo last weekend. In addition, Albanian defender Marash Kumbulla sustained an injured meniscus while on international duty and missed the remainder of the season. Francesca might have to form an unlikely defensive pair of Chris Smalling and Ibanez.
Prediction and Odds
Both teams will remain committed to their attacking prowess, thus making up for an entertaining clash.
Correct Score: 2-2
Goals Over 2.5