Prediction & odds for the game: Ajax (13/10) v Atalanta (9/5) – ST is backing the home win
When: Wednesday, 9th December @ 5.55pm K.O
Where: Johan Cruyff Arena
Ajax and Atalanta will battle it out with the winner booking their ticket to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.
It’s been quite the journey for Ajax ever since they were swindled out of a Champions League final appearance by Tottenham Hotspur, and after losing many of their top names following that semi-final, many have wondered whether or not they’d ever be able to reach those heights again. They might not have the same sort of squad but they’ve definitely got a lot of heart within their ranks, and they’ll need that if they want to edge into the Round of 16.
A 3-0 win over Utrecht back in November was all the motivation Ajax needed to go on a nice run of form, as they wound up battering Heracles 5-0, Midtjylland 3-1 and Emmen 5-0. Unfortunately they did wind up losing to Liverpool before they were also edged out by Twente in the league.
It hasn’t exactly been the easiest start to the league season for Atalanta and because of that, many seem to have underestimated just how good they can be – even though the proof has been in the pudding with their style of play for months now. They’ll come into this game with no fear whatsoever and even though they’re still trying to put all the pieces together within their squad, they should be a real force in Italian football as we move through the next few years.
A 5-0 battering at the hands of Liverpool wasn’t exactly what Atalanta fans had expected, before two draws against Inter Milan and Spezia left many wondering what exactly this team was all about. They then avenged the loss to the Reds with a 2-0 win at Anfield, but a disappointing loss to Verona was compounded by a 1-1 draw with Midtjylland.
This has the potential to be an incredible game between two sides who have a whole lot of excitement within their ranks. Atalanta will be the ones forcing the issue as they need to win if they want to qualify, which should open things up for Ajax to thrive on the counter. It’s going to be one hell of a war but in the end, we’re backing the experienced Dutch juggernauts to grind out the win that takes them through.
Our official scoreline prediction is 2-1, meaning that we will be backing the over 2.5 goals market – so prepare yourselves for an entertaining evening of action in the Netherlands.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 13/10 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/9 (All odds are taken from bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]
If you want to bet on Ajax vs Atalanta then head on over to the betting page. Alternatively, you can check out some of the other available fixtures at the soccer predictions page ahead of what is bound to be a thrilling final set of Champions League group stage games.