Ajax – AS Roma | 08/04/2021

Dutch champions Ajax meet Serie A side Roma in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, pitting together two of the grander names in continental football. The clubs convene at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, seeking an advantage to take into next week’s return in Rome – with the hosts 90 minutes away from a record-equalling 11th successive home win in the competition and the visitors having won all four matches in this year’s knockout phase.

Unbeaten in 24 games (W21, D3) ahead of kick-off, and HT/FT winners in two of their last three UEFA Europa League (UEL) matches, Ajax will be hoping that history can repeat itself. They won 2-0 at home en-route to the final the last time they reached this stage of the competition, and have impressively scored 2+ goals in each of their last five UEL games.

Regardless, Ajax know a big task lies ahead, having only won four (D9, L6) of their previous 19 home games vs Italian opponents. Yet, the Dutch giants have won each of their last nine UEL home knockout (K/o) ties (W11, L4 overall) with the last four seeing over 2.5 total goals.

As for Roma, the sapping effects of a three-game winless run in Serie A (D1, L2) must be slain by residual momentum from their 5-1 aggregate win vs Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous round. Forebodingly, Roma have lost out in five of their last six European quarter finals, though they’ve scored 2+ goals in seven of their last eight UEL outings!

Roma currently have a 50% win rate in UEL K/o phase away games (W4, D2, L2). Meanwhile, both of Roma’s two prior away leg victories recorded this year saw them net once after the 70th minute. In turn, ‘La Lupa’ have averaged 1.25 goals per match beyond the hour mark across their last four UEL away wins (all phases).

 

Date: 08/04/2021
Time: 22:00
Venue: Johan Cruijff Arena (Amsterdam)
Pick for this match:
“Over 2.5” – @ 1.57 ( Betway )

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