Ajax look set to advance to the next stage of the Europa League this week as they welcome Ligue 1 leaders Lille home. The match schedules for Thursday at the Johan Cruijiff, with kickoff at 8:55 pm.
Lille appeared to be heading for a first-leg victory last Thursday, but the Eredivisie champions marched a 2-1 win thanks to a late goal by Dusan Tadic and Brian Brobbey.
Ajax entered the Europa League on the back of devastating news with new signing Sebastian Haller omitted, goalkeeper Onana facing a 12-month doping ban, and Quincy Promes facing possible charges of murder of a family member.
However, a win last Thursday revived the hopes that they could be contenders in this year’s tournament. Ajax’s scintillating form has been the saving grace to help them keep their European hopes alive.
The Dutch giants have won ten consecutive matches across all competitions, followed by a first-leg triumph over Lille with a 4-2 success over Sparta Rotterdam in the top flight. Haller announced his presence with a brace with Peter Schuurs and Mohammed Kudus on target.
A minor setback in Lille’s Ligue 1’s title race was with their goalless draw with Brest. However, Christophe Galtier proceeded to rally his troops behind an in-form Lorient side. The Dogues were treated to eight away wins on the bounce on their side. The side has managed to keep six clean sheets in the process.
Ajax vs. Lille Head to Head
Both sides have three games against each other, with Ajax taking three wins while Lille without a win. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Ajax 4-2 Sparta Rotterdam
Lille 1-2 Ajax
Heracles Almelo 0-2 Ajax
Ajax 2-1 PSV Eindhoven
AZ Alkmaar 0-3 Ajax
Lorient 1-4 Lille
Lille 1-2 Ajax
Lille 0-0 Brest
Dijon 0-1 Lille
Nantes 0-2 Lille
Ajax Team News
Haller and Onana will not play any part in this fixture, but Ryan Gravenberch is back from suspension and should start in the engine room. It remains a last-minute decision whether Noussair Mazraoui should be first for the second leg.
Lille Team News
Lille contends with the only absentee ahead of the clash is Yilmaz. Benjamin Andre and Xeka are back from suspensions after their first-leg defeat. Renato Sanchez and Boubakary Soumare will earn their starts in the engine room.
Prediction and Odds
Lille’s away form has been nothing than sensational since the turn of the year, and we expect a change of fortune.
Both Teams to Score
Goals Over 2.5