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AS Roma vs Ajax
When: Thursday, April 15 – 21:00 CEST
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Weather: Partly cloudy, 12 °C
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Ajax were the better team in the first game against Roma a week ago. However, the Dutch squad ended up losing 2-1. Now, they need to go for a win if they want to advance to the semi-final of the Europa League.
The problem is that simply winning the game is not enough. A 1-0 win will not be enough for Ajax to advance due to Roma’s away goal. Instead, they need to do a bit more.
That said, Roma seem ready to fight back. After all, this team’s confidence is sky-high, following their recent success in the Europa League – Roma won each of the games in the knockout stage of the competition, with a total score difference of 12-3.
Ajax (Probably) Going All-In
Ajax occupy #1 place in the Eredivisie, with 11 points clear of PSV (who have played one game more). With the Dutch domestic title practically in their hands, Ajax has the luxury to switch their focus entirely to the Europa League.
There’s no doubt this team has the quality to achieve that. After all, we saw Ajax in the semi-final of the Champions League just two years ago. None of the other seven teams still in the Europa League have achieved such success in recent times.
Another reason why it’s not crazy to think of Ajax as the favorite to win the Europa League this year is the fact that they were pretty good in the game with Roma a week ago. So, why did they lose?
It’s safe to say that luck was not on their side that evening. Ajax had a total of 15 goal attempts, in comparison to only seven of Roma. Furthermore, the ball was in their possession for nearly two-thirds of the time.
The Dutch had a 1-0 lead at halftime and even had a fantastic chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot. However, their captain Dušan Tadić sent the ball straight into Roma’s keeper. What’s interesting is that it was his only 9th missed penalty of his career.
Certainly, Ajax’s top scorer (20 goals in all competitions in 2020) will do his utmost to make up for what happened in that game.
The same goes for all of his teammates; at least for those who will be able to take part in tonight’s game. Ajax will miss a couple of regulars, including Daley Blind, Zakaria Labyad, and Noussair Mazraoui.
Roma’s Impressive Run in the Europa League
This team is close to making their first semi-finals in the Europa League/UEFA Cup since 1991. They just need to avoid losing by a big margin tonight.
Their recent form is certainly giving them a lot of confidence – they’re still without a defeat in April.
Even more morale-boosting fact is that they have been very successful in the Europa League this year. In fact, Roma is one of the two teams that have all wins in the knockout stage of the competition in 2021 (the other team is Villarreal).
On their way to the quarterfinal of the Europa League, Roma have knocked out two pretty tough opponents – Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Can they do the same to Ajax?
AS Roma vs Ajax Betting Picks
Oddsmakers think the Dutch team is the favorite here, but we think the team from the Italian capital must not be underestimated.
Perhaps Roma isn’t going to get another win against Ajax, but the thing is that they do not need it. Even with a draw or a 1-0 defeat, the Italian team would advance to the semi-finals.
For this reason, it’s best to be a bit cautious with this one. We expect the Dutch are going to win, but knowing how solid Roma’s defence at home is, there’s a risk that we might be in for a draw. That’s why Ajax +0.00 AH (DNB) seems like the best possible option.
Prediction: Ajax +0.00 AH (DNB) – 1.72 SBO