MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 13:30:32| >> :120:7069:7069:
Dec 9, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Johan Cruijff Arena
AjaxAjax
0-1
AtalantaAtalanta BC

Gravenberch (22'), Tagliafico (52')
Gravenberch (79')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Muriel (85')
Hateboer (60'), Freuler (82')

Preview: Ajax vs. Atalanta BC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Ajax and Atalanta BC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ajax take on Atalanta BC in the final round of Group D matches with a place in the last 16 of the Champions League on the line.

The Dutch giants lost their last outing and are one point behind Atalanta, meaning that only a victory will do on Wednesday night if they are to leapfrog their opponents into second place.


Match preview

Ajax players celebrate scoring against FC Midtjylland on November 25, 2020© Reuters

Ajax's defeat to Liverpool last week, combined with Atalanta's draw with Midtjylland, means that it is all to play for in Group D.

A goalkeeping error from Andre Onana gifted a goal to Curtis Jones at Anfield, bringing an end to a two-goal winning run that had seen Ajax overcome Midtjylland home and away.

The Danish side proved a far tougher opponent for Atalanta, though, the Italians only managing a 1-1 draw after Cristian Romero struck to cancel out Alexander Scholz's opener.

In what could prove to be a blessing or a curse, Atalanta had the weekend off as their game against Udinese was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Atalanta BC's Josip Ilicic celebrates scoring against Liverpool in the Champions League on November 25, 2020© Reuters

Ajax were in Eredivisie action on Saturday and saw their impressive run of league form come to an end in a 2-1 home loss against Twente.

Erik ten Hag's charges now need to pick themselves up for this big showdown as they look to reach the knockout stages for the first time since 2018-19 when making it to the semis.

Atalanta made it to the last eight in the most recent edition of the competition and boast an incredible away record in Europe, winning four in a row on their travels in the Champions League.

However, Ajax are unbeaten in their last seven games against Italian opponents in UEFA's flagship competition, including a 2-2 draw with Atalanta in the reverse fixture on matchday two.

Ajax Champions League form: LDWWL
Ajax form (all competitions): WWWWLL

Atalanta BC Champions League form:
Atalanta BC form (all competitions): LDDWLD


Team News

Ajax's Perr Schuurs does not agree with that in the workplace on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Ajax are without a few players for Wednesday's match in Amsterdam, with Mohammed Kudus joined on the sidelines by Noussair Mazraoui and David Neres.

Sean Klaiber, used from the bench three times in this year's competition, is in contention for a start at right-back in the absence of Mazraoui.

Playmaker Dusan Tadic has been involved in five of Ajax's seven Champions League goals this season, scoring two and assisting three.

As for the visitors, Robin Gosens and Aleksey Miranchuk are out after testing positive for coronavirus.

Mattia Caldara is among Atalanta's injury absentees, meanwhile, with Pierluigi Gollini another unlikely to play any part.

Duvan Zapata is without a goal in seven games in all competitions but is expected to start in attack alongside Luis Muriel and Papu Gomez.

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Onana; Klaiber, Schuurs, Blind, Tagliafico; Klaassen, Alvarez, Gravenberch; Antony, Traore, Tadic

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Sportiello; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Mojica; Gomez; Zapata, Muriel


SM words green background

We say: Ajax 1-1 Atalanta BC

Five of Ajax's last seven games against Italian sides have ended all square.

That result would not be enough to see them through, but Atalanta have been impressive on their travels - even winning at Anfield last time out - and we can see the Serie A side picking up the point they need.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that both teams will score (BTTS - yes) in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.BTTS Yes:data


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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Ajax00000000
2AZ AlkmaarAZ00000000
3Groningen00000000
4FC Twente00000000
5FC UtrechtUtrecht00000000
6Feyenoord00000000
7Fortuna SittardSittard00000000
8Go Ahead Eagles00000000
9Heracles00000000
10NEC00000000
11PEC Zwolle00000000
12PSV EindhovenPSV00000000
13RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk00000000
14Cambuur00000000
15Heerenveen00000000
16Sparta RotterdamSparta00000000
17Vitesse00000000
18Willem II00000000

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