People who have been watching football for quite some time and are passionate about the sport know for a fact that shockers and upsets are part of the beautiful game.
We’ve seen a couple of unbelievable results in the past that brought tears of different essences to eyes of numerous football fans around the world, for example, we saw Roma come from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to knock FC Barcelona out of the CL last season, and recently we saw Man United overturn a 2-0 home defeat to qualify for the quarter-finals and most notably Ajax pulling a
Now, this Ajax team, pretty stubborn went head-to-head with Juventus in the first leg and put up a wonderful display, getting a 1-1 draw despite the odds being against their favour. The Dutch team will now travel to Turin to take on Juventus in the return fixture and here, we give you five reasons why Ajax won’t be able to pull off a “shocker” for the second time in this season’s UEFA Champions League campaign.
1. JUVENTUS ARE THE BETTER TEAM
Yes, and that’s why they’re dubbed as “favourites”. But we all know the better team do not necessarily win the game. However, we believe that’s a major factor that will make Juve triumph as they beat Ajax in terms of quality and experience.
Player-for-player Juventus put Ajax to the ground and they possess names that have played at the top hierarchy of the competition for years, including two finals. Ajax will not be able to match Juve’s quality as only a few of their players have played at this level. They will have to improve a lot to contain Juve’s pressure and everything points to a Juve win when you consider the squad of both teams.
2. AJAX WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COPE WITH JUVE’S PRESSURE
Ajax had their chances at the Cruyff Arena but they didn’t capitalize on them. They pressured Juventus into defending, had control of the game but somehow couldn’t get the win they needed.
Now they’ll be heading to Turin where 40000 fans will be cheering for an already-experienced Juventus team, this will boost the morale of this players and shatter that of the Ajax ones as they aren’t used to such an outrageous atmosphere in this stage of the competition.
This may lead to numerous errors and miskicks from the Ajax players and Juventus will pounce on them like a predator on its prey. It will be hard on the Dutch team.
3. DE JONG AND TAGLIAFICO WEAKNESSES
Ajax midfield maestro Frenkie de Jong left the field injured in the team’s last league game on Saturday. Although he’ll travel with his teammates, it’s not very likely he’ll feature in all 90 minutes as it looks as if he’s battling with a hamstring injury and even if he does, he may not be able to play up to standard send this will be a plus for Juventus who will now have their chances of dominating the midfield and winning increased by 10%.
De Jong was the man of the match in the first leg so his probable absence is definitely a boost for Juventus. Another major absentee is left back Tagliafico who will miss the game through suspension, he’s a key player for his team and is in the form of his life, his absence is a blow for Ajax.
This is simple. Juventus priority is to win the Champions League this season, they’ve won their league on seven consecutive occasions and are well on course to make it eight, it’s too easy for them and has become boring so they’re now focused on winning the one title that have eluded them for years, the CL.
They now have the luxury of resting key players in league games and have no cup games to worry about. Meanwhile, Ajax main aim is to win the Eredivisie title for the first time in five years as they acknowledge the fact that winning the CL is not that feasible. They’re currently top of the league table and have five games left, they’ll definitely place more priority on the league title.
I need not say much about him. He almost guarantees you a goal every game, especially in the CL knockout stages where he has 64 to his name. He almost single-handedly dragged Juve to the last 8 and got his team’s only goal in the Netherlands. He’ll definitely score at least once and he’s a cheat code as regards to Juventus chances of progressing.