Injury-massacred Besiktas travels to Amsterdam to meet Ajax in the second round of the UEFA Champions League group stage. The Turkish champions have massive problems with injuries, and on top of that, need to win this match. If they fail to come back with all three, or at least one point in their bag, reaching the knockout stage would be mission impossible. As for Ajax, this crew is doing well in all the competitions, with the form steadily rising from game to game. They had a very good last few matches, heating the machine for this encounter.
Ajax (-800) has six straight wins, in each one scoring at least twice and in four three or more goals. After demolishing Sporting in the UCL opener, 1-5 in Lisbon, they would humiliate Cambuur with 9-0 in the Eredivisie. After that, Fortuna Sittard felt their rage, 0-5, and eventually Groningen on Saturday night, 3-0.
Sebastian Haller finally started scoring goals, but the key player in the lineup is Dusan Tadic, who improved his performances a lot during the few weeks. The Serbian is the playmaker and the one who distributes the ball.
The style of play remained unchanged. Ajax always attacks and tends to score as many goals as possible regardless of the result.
Besiktas (+1600) has just one win in the past three games, with two losses and a draw. All these matches were wild, with them flipping the result, erasing deficits, and scoring and conceding late goals.
Six of the previous games ended with over 2.5 goals, while the last four were with both teams to score. In three games away from Vodafone Park, Besiktas has one win, loss, and draw each.
Head coach Jalcin didn’t change the tactics despite having an incredible number of injured players. Besiktas still plays open and offensive, wanting to score, and we do respect that.
Onana is out for the hosts because of his long suspension.
On the other side, we have numerous players out or doubtful. Wellington, Vida, Uysal, Topal, Alex Teixeira, Meras, Ghezzall, and Batshuayi are all on the list, but some might recover before the game. Do keep an eye on the news, and monitor which players might suddenly come back.
Head to Head Games
The last two games were some 27 years ago in the Cup Winners’ Cup round of 16, and Ajax won both matches. The first in Amsterdam, 2-1, and the rematch with 4-0. Previously, they played in the UCL. It was the first knockout round, and the outcome was the same, Besiktas lost at home, 1-2, and on the road, 2-0.
This is a no-brainer. Ajax will easily trash the guests, who are much weaker than the Dutch side, even with all the players ready and healthy. The odds on the hosts’ win are too small, but things change significantly when we add a handicap. Odds on their win with a -1.5 spread are -195, and that seems fine. For all those who want to take some risk in the quest for more cash, Ajax to net twice in the first half is +130. It is worth trying.
Pick: Ajax -1.5 -195
Here are more previews for this UEFA Champions League round:
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.