APOEL vs Ajax
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 20 August 2019
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
APOEL fired their Italian – former – coach Paolo Tramezzani after their 1-2 home defeat to Qarabag, two weeks ago, gave the job to German Thomas Doll, the man had less than a week to get to know the team and… come up with a plan, and somehow the Cypriot side outdid themselves in Azerbaijan in the return leg, winning 0-2. One thing everyone at APOEL agrees on, is that right now, the pressure is on Ajax, not them. Obviously, APOEL want to reach the CL group stage, but they are being… realistic regarding their chances against Ajax. They have already secured a spot in the Europa League group stage, so… if the miracle happens in the two games versus last season’s CL semifinalists, all the better. No game for them last weekend.
Erik ten Hag, Ajax’s coach, told reporters soon after the end of his team’s game versus PAOK last week at home that he couldn’t remember another game in which three penalties were given to the same team. That’s what happened in Amsterdam last week, with Ajax beating PAOK 3-2, converting two of the three penalties they were given by the English referee. The Dutch side had drawn 2-2 in Thessaloniki, a week earlier. On Saturday, they beat Venlo 1-4 on the road, their third win in a row (Holland championship and UEFA CL qualifiers combined). It’s impressive that they have now scored 16 goals in six official matches this summer (three in their championship, two against PAOK, and also versus PSV in the Super Cup), having found the back of the net at least twice in each and every of those games.
Previous five matches:
Qarabag vs APOEL 0-2
APOEL vs Qarabag 1-2
APOEL vs Sutjeska 3-0
Sutjeska vs APOEL 0-1
APOEL vs Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0
Venlo vs Ajax 1-4
Ajax vs PAOK 3-2
Ajax vs Emmen 5-0
PAOK vs Ajax 2-2
Vitesse vs Ajax 2-2
APOEL are scheduled to host Olympiacos Nicosia on Saturday (Cyprus championship). Ajax’s next game is the return leg of this tie, in a week from now, at home.
APOEL vs Ajax: Head to head Stats
APOEL have hosted Ajax once before, in 2014; they drew 1-1 (Champions League group stage).
APOEL vs Ajax: Prediction
I expect goals, at least three, at least two from Ajax, and most-most probably, the visitors to win.
APOEL vs Ajax: Betting Tips
“Ajax and over 2.5 goals” is at 2.08. They had 20 minutes in Thessaloniki two weeks ago, in which they got outplayed by PAOK, but they still drew 2-2 there, and in my mind, there is no doubt PAOK are a much better team than APOEL.