2018-19 UEFA Champions League: Quarter Finals Second Legs – Juventus vs Ajax

With this Quarter Final tie firmly poised at 1-1, Juventus welcome Ajax to the Allianz Stadium. 

Juventus are going for a third semi-final in last five seasons whilst Ajax haven’t reached the last four in 22 years, since losing to the Italian side in the 1996-97 semi-finals. 

Team news

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Cristiano Ronaldo will start for Juventus after being amongst nine players rested for Saturday’s 2-1 loss at SPAL in Serie A. 

Emre Can is available after missing the first leg through injury but Mario Mandzukic and Giorgio Chiellini aren’t expected to feature as they struggle for match fitness.

Ajax could be without midfielder, Frenkie de Jong after the Dutchman limped off in their 6-2 victory over Excelsior with a hamstring issue.   

Hassane Bande (fibula) and Carel Eiting (knee) are also absent for the Eredivisie side. 

Stat Attack

  • Ajax are winless in three previous Champions League trips to Juventus (D1, L2). 
  • Juventus have drawn two of their last three Champions League Quarter Final second legs away, and progressed on both occasions unlike last season when they beat Real Madrid 3-1 in second leg but lost the tie 4-3 on aggregate. 
  • Ajax’s last two second leg appearances at this stage have seen them on opposite ends of 3-2 results away from home, beating Atletico Madrid after extra time in 1996-97 season before losing to AC Milan in 2002-03 season in normal time. 

Prediction

Given that Juventus have played their last three Quarter Final second legs away, this is an interesting break of pattern which Ajax could capitalize on if they deliver a good game. 

I am therefore expecting another close tussle between a consistent Juventus and re-emerging Ajax side but Ronaldo knows how to turn it on when needed so am going for a home win. 

Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Ajax

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