It will be an emotional night in Amsterdam when Ajax hosts Nice and the Sons of Gods can harness it to beat the Eaglets and qualify for the next stage of the UEFA Champions League.
The Amsterdam Arena will be packed to the rafters for Ajax’s first competitive game since Sons of Gods youngster Abdelhak Nouri suffered serious brain damage after collapsing during a pre-season friendly match. One is betting that Ajax will handle the occasion and, after seeing the Sons of Gods have the better of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg, particularly in the second half, one is confident that they can defeat Nice in the Netherlands.
Ajax was second best to Nice in the opening period of last week’s UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg but the Sons of Gods dominated the second half and, by the final whistle, they led the Eaglets on most of the key statistics, which was a fine effort for an away game versus a team representing one of Europe’s top domestic divisions.
At odds of -133 with Betway, Ajax rates as the best bet on the UEFA Champions League card. Ajax has won each of its last 12 home matches and the Sons of Gods are 22-1-0 in their 23 Amsterdam Arena assignments since losing 1-2 to Willem II in August 2016. Realistically, Nice will need to beat Ajax on the road to reach the next stage of the UEFA Champions League but the Eaglets failed to get the better of any host in the French Ligue 1 top seven last season.
CSKA Moskva was far too good for AEK in Athens last week and one is willing to trust that the Horses will gallop over the top for their Greek opponents in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg in Russia.
Goals from set pieces either side of half time means that CSKA Moskva registered a 2-0 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg win that the Horses merited on the balance of play. AEK will have to throw caution to the wind because it must score at least twice in normal time to threaten CSKA Moskva and one believes that the Horses will pick off their guests on the counter back. AEK has not won away from home in the UEFA Champions League since 2006 and even then it only got over the top of Hearts. AEK’s Greek Super League season is yet to get under way, whereas CSKA Moskva has played three Russian Premier League rounds.
CSKA Moskva, which forced seven of the eight corner kicks when it visited AEK last week, is available at odds of -179 with 188Bet to do the double over its inferior opponent.
Bwin is offering odds of -133 about both Istanbul Basaksehir and Club Brugge scoring when they resume UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in Turkey one week after they shared six goals in a pulsating encounter in Belgium.
Club Brugge led Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 inside 16 minutes but the Turkish Super Lig side fought back to lead 3-2 before a low free-kick strike squared the ledger. Both teams scored in 11 of Istanbul Basaksehir’s 17 Turkish Super Lig home games and the state of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie is such that one expects Club Brugge to throw the kitchen sink at their less experienced foes.
Ajax to beat Nice
Wednesday 2nd August, 19:45 GMT
CSKA to beat AEK
Wednesday 2nd August, 18:00 GMT
Istanbul Basaksehir v Club Brugges – Both teams to score
Wednesday 2nd August, 18:45 GMT