11 December 2019
Ajax and Valencia will lock horns at the Johan Cruijff Arena in a match that will decide the faith of both sides in this season’s UEFA Champions League (CL).
The hosts need to avoid defeat to secure a place in the knockout stage as they sit two points above second-placed Valencia and third-placed Chelsea ahead of the final round of group fixtures. Curiously, all three of Ajax’s CL wins this term (W3, D1, L1) have seen them shut out their rivals and score at least two goals, with two of them coming via the identical 3-0 scoreline – a triumph at the Mestalla in the reversed fixture included. Very comfortable playing in Europe’s top-tier competition, the reigning Dutch holders have lost just three of their last 27 CL matches, qualifying included (W15, D9, L3). However, a dismal UEFA record against the La Liga sides gives Erik ten Hag a reason to be wary, as the Lancers lost 12 of their 17 such matches, winning just four (W4, D1, L12).
As for the visitors, they will clinch a place in the next CL round with a win here, regardless of the outcome of Chelsea’s match against Lille. The Oranges are unbeaten away from home this term (W1, D1), with both of those games featuring under 2.5 goals and seeing the exact 0-0 halftime score. But, it will be a daunting prospect for Los Ches to pick up three points here, as they’ve managed just one triumph in their last seven CL road trips (W1, D3, L3). What’s more, they’ve scored one goal or less in all of those above matches, racking up a total of three goals. But, Valencia have not sustained a single loss in their previous five trips to the Netherlands (W1, D4), which can encourage the traveling fans.
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