Preview - Benfica vs Ajax 08 November 18

Started by Harry85, Nov 07, 2018, 04:44 PM

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Champions' League Group E
Benfica vs. Ajax
Thursday, November 8th 2018
04:00am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Estádio da Luz

Last five matches form: W W L L L
Average goals per match: 1.78
Average goals against per match: 1.11
Top Scorer: Pizzi (4)

Last five matches form: W W W W W
Average goals per match: 2.73
Average goals against per match: 0.36
Top Scorer: Dusan Tadić (7)

Ajax are currently in the driving seat in Group E, sitting joint top with Bayern Munich after Match Day 3. They will still be in the top two whatever the result here, but a win for Benfica would tighten things up considerably at the top.

Ajax came out narrowly on top in the reverse fixture when winning 1-0, although they were probably value for more than that narrow margin on the night. Can Benfica fare any better now in front of their own fans?

If the recent form of the two sides is anything to go by then we would have to favour Ajax in this one. Benfica are on a three-game losing skid at present, including a most disappointing 3-1 defeat to Moreirense at home at the weekend. Ajax meanwhile have won their past six in all competitions and have now lost only one of their last 20. This looks a young side firmly on the up.

Tyronne Ebuehi and Christian Lerma are out for the home side. Ajax meanwhile must make do without Boureima Bande and Joël Veltman.

Ajax secured a draw away at Bayern Munich earlier in this Group, and in theory at least this doesn't represent so tough a test. We like the look of this Ajax side and see them all but securing their qualification to the knockout round with a win in this one.

Prediction: Benfica 1 - 2 Ajax


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 1 -1
Shots:  10 - 9
Shots on target: 8 - 4
Corner Kicks: 2 - 2
Possession: 40% - 60%

Jonas, Ljubomir Fejsa and Jardel were booked for Benfica, with Nicolas Tagliafico, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek and Dusan Tadic of Ajax also having their names taken by referee Gianluca Rocchi.

A fairly evenly contested match in Portugal, with Benfica probably just edging things in front of their own fans. They really needed to win this one though and, in the end, - despite taking the lead - couldn't quite manage it.

The opening goal came in the 29th minute, with Benfica owing a large does of thanks to Ajax keeper, Andre Onana. Firstly having to concede a throw in courtesy of an ill-advised Cruyff turn on the edge of his own six yard box, he then completely flapped at the resulting long throw, leaving Jonas with the task of controlling and finishing into the unprotected goal. 1-0 at the break.

Ajax were back on level terms in the 61st minute. Hakim Ziyech's lofted ball forward being well brought down by Dusan Tadic breaking into the box. Tadic then doing well to round the keeper with defenders at his back and forcing him wide, but not preventing him from stabbing home from a tight angle.

Onana then regained some redemption with what proved to the be the final touch of the game, an effort rifled at goal from inside the area following a corner kick, but the big keeper reacting really well to get an outstretched leg to the ball. 1-1 final score.

Avoiding defeat in this one could be the determining factor in whether or not Ajax make it through to the knockout stages. They remain in second spot on eight points, four clear of Benfica with two games to play.

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