Ajax and APOEL face at Amsterdam ArenA, in a 2nd leg match for the UEFA Champions League (Play‑offs), after a (0‑0) draw in the 1st leg match. In this match the home advantage may play an important role, as both teams present significant differences between home and away performances.
Ajax VS APOEL
First leg result: 0 – 0
28 August 2019 – 20:00
UEFA Champions League
Play-offs – 2nd Leg
28 Aug – 20:00
Who will be the winner?
Analysis of Ajax
After the goalless draw in the 1st leg, the home team needs to get a home win to qualify for the next round. This is a team that, oddly enough, has had better results in away matches than at home, since in the last 30 matches they register 11 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss in away matches; against 10 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses at their stadium. Ajax has won 7, tied 2 and lost 1 of the last 10 home matches. Defensive consistency hasn’t been their best feature, as they have conceded goals in 7 of the last 10 matches, but their offense has scored consistently, as they have scored goals in 9 of the last 10 matches. In their home matches there is a tendency for goals, since 57 of the last 61 matches have ended with Over 1,5 goals and 47 out of 61 have ended with Over 2,5 goals. They have conceded the first goal in 6 of their 15 matches, but have been able to turn the score around in 2.
Ajax heads into this second match after a 0-0 draw at APOEL, taking all the final outcome to their stadium. We remember that the home team beat PAOK in the previous round of the Champions League. Usually coach Erik ten Hag plays 4-3-3 favoring ball possession and organized attacks: Donny van de Beek is responsible for inventing and creating the offensive process of the team. It should be noted that Ajax has great competence in defense-attack transition, finishing and defensive set pieces. For this match the coach cannot count on Mazraoui, punished, besides Promes and Eiting, players recovering from injury.
Analysis of APOEL
The away team comes to this 2nd leg match after a goalless draw in the 1st leg and the advantage of not having conceded any home goals. This is a team that usually gets better results in away matches than at home, since in the last 30 matches they register 9 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses in away matches, with 26 goals scored and 16 conceded; against 6 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses at their stadium, with 22 goals scored and 11 conceded. In the last 10 away matches APOEL has won 5, tied 2 and lost 3. Defensive consistency has been one of their best features, as they have only conceded goals in 1 of the last 5 matches, and their offense has scored consistently, as they have scored goals in 4 of the last 5 matches for this competition.
APOEL heads into this second match after having managed a tie by 0-0 against Ajax, wasting their home advantage for a positive result. In previous rounds of the Champions League, the Cypriots overcame Sutjeska and Qarabag. In this away game, coach Thomas Doll must choose a defensive strategy with a low block, looking only for the counterattack. Defensive midfielder Lucas Souza is one of the best weapons of this APOEL, being this player very important in the team’s style of play. Apparently the outsider “mister” can count on all the players at his disposal.