Benfica v Ajax Betting Tips

Three seasons ago, Ajax went really deep in the Champions League when reaching the semi-final stage. Erik ten Hag’s side overcame Juventus and Real Madrid to reach the last four and looked to have the tie at their mercy against Tottenham Hotspur before an inspired Lucas Moura hat-trick turned things completely on their head.

Wind the clock forward and perhaps the Dutch champions are even stronger than the team who went so close to glory a few years ago. Ten Hag remains at the helm and Ajax look formidable despite the fact that the club continue to shed their best players to some of the leading European clubs.

Why Are Ajax Big Odds-On to Beat Benfica?

At the beginning of the season, you might have expected both teams to be trading at a similar price to qualify from a tie such as this. However, Ajax have been the surprise package of the competition and they were utterly explosive during the group stage. There were six wins recorded against opponents including Borussia Dortmund, Besiktas and Sporting CP.

These were generally not slender wins either. Twenty goals were scored and just five were conceded, with a notable 4-0 hammering of Dortmund being followed up by a 3-1 triumph at the Westfalenstadion and Ten Hag has a striker who has been pilfering goals for fun.

Sebastian Haller didn’t look a fantastic forward when operating for West Ham, although Ajax are in a hot battle domestically for the Eredivisie crown, with PSV currently matching them stride for stride at the time of writing. A recent 2-1 home defeat against AZ Alkmaar illustrates that the team aren’t invincible.

Will Benfica Be Boosted From Finishing Above Barcelona?

Benfica won’t be too dismayed by this Champions League last sixteen draw. Although the football betting odds makes them big outsiders, this represents a definite opportunity for the Portuguese side to make the last eight of the competition. The fact that they finished above Barcelona during the group stage will be a big confidence booster.

While there’s no denying that Barca are in a sorry state of affairs, Benfica will still regard it as a major coup to have reached this stage of the competition. They now have nothing to lose from having a crack at their Dutch opponents, with Jorge Jesus’ side did overcome the Catalan side by a 3-0 victory.

The big issue is that Benfica were soundly beaten by Bayern Munich home and away, losing the two ties by an aggregate score of 9-2 and this is also a team who sit four points behind Porto and Sporting in their domestic standings despite some encouraging recent form.

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