Ajax take on the visitors Nice at “Johan Cruijff Arena” in the reverse fixture of the Qualification semi-final of the UEFA Champions League 2017/2018. The game will be played in Amsterdam on Wednesday, August 2nd. The first-leg clash ended with 1:1 draw.
Ajax conducted great last season, having settled on the second place in the Eredivisie table and played in the UEFA Europa League final. In summer there were a lot of changes in the team: Peter Bosz had quitted the head-coach’s position and Marcel Keizer was appointed to replace him. It is obvious that many footballers have left the club as well: Davy Klaassen, Kenny Tete, Jairo Riedewald and Bertrand Traore. Ajax engaged a lot of new performers to make up for the roster losses, however, only highly experienced Klaas-Jan Huntelaar can be mentioned among them. In the first-leg match against Nice on the road the Dutch looked even a little bit stronger. In regard to the side’s performance in face of its fans, it has not been beaten at the home ground for about a year already.
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In summer Nice almost left the same comparing to the previous season. During the break Lucien Favre’s team participated in five friendly encounters resulting in four victories and one defeat. In the home battle against Ajax Mario Balotelli was a man who showed off by having scored a goal, even thought, in general, the hosts showed weaker football than the rivals. Concerning the sides’ results on the road, in 2017 Nice got three triumphs, five draws and three losses in 11 away games.
The first-leg fight ended with the draw which means that the opponents have nearly the same chances for promotion to the next stage. I believe that the rivals will not offer an “open” football, consequently, none should expect a number of scored goals in it.
Prediction for the match: Under 3.0 scored goals.