Roma ended Ajax’s 23-game unbeaten run in all competitions a week ago in the Europa League quarterfinal first leg. The Giallorossi pulled off a 2-1 come from behind win against Ajax in Amsterdam thanks to goals from Lorenzo Pellegrini and Roger Ibanez in the second half of the game. The goals cancelled out a first half strike from Davy Klaassen. Dusan Tadic’s penalty was saved by Roma goalie Pau Lopez, altering the momentum and inspiring Ajax to score twice.
Ajax now go into the second leg needing two goals without conceding against Roma to progress to the semifinals. Ajax were one of the favourites to win the Europa League prior to the quarterfinal first leg. However, the Amsterdam team are now at odds of 16/1 to win the competition while Roma are at odds of 15/2 to lift the tournament’s trophy. Although Ajax are not out of the tie by any means, they have a lot to do against Roma to overcome the deficit.
The Amsterdam club dominated much of the match at home versus Roma. They outshot the Italians 15-7 with nine shots hitting the target. Ajax also claimed more possession with 66% and tallied 609 passes compared to Roma’s 320.
The Giallorossi are on a three-game unbeaten streak. They claimed a weekend 1-0 win against Bologna. Ajax also won at the weekend, defeating Waalwijk 1-0. Unfortunately for Ajax, they must play the Europa League match without striker Sebastien Haller, who continues to score goals in the Eredivisie. A clerical error in January by Ajax’s staff left Haller off of the team’s squad list for the competition. Can the Dutch club get goals without the striker and overturn Roma’s slender lead?
Roma vs Ajax Betting Odds
The Europa League quarterfinal second leg is nicely poised between Roma and Ajax. The Italians have a two-goal lead over Ajax going into the game. The Dutch club need to score twice without conceding a goal to Roma to progress to the semifinals of the Europa League. A 2-1 Ajax win would be the only way the Europa League tie would go to extra-time and possibly penalties.
Roma go into the game at odds of 9/5 to win the match at the end of 90 minutes. Paulo Fonseca’s team have posted a record of 15W-4D-3L at the Stadio Olimpico in all competitions. They have outscored opponents 48 to 22 at home. Ten times this season Roma have kept clean sheets at home. With Ajax’s strong attack, it is unlikely the Giallorossi will keep a clean sheet on Thursday night.
Ajax are at odds of 29/20 to win at full time at the Stadio Olimpico. The Dutch team have an away record of 17W-3D-2L on the road in 2020-21. However, the argument can be made that the Eredivisie isn’t a strong league defensively and Ajax walk right through it.
Erik ten Hag’s team have scored 55 goals on their travels while conceding a mere 13. They average 2.62 goals per match while conceding an average of just 0.59 per fixture. Roma average 2.18 goals per game at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma vs Ajax Team News
Roma’s attempt to qualify for the Champions League for 2021-22 has seen them fall out of the top four. They are now seventh and unlikely to make the Champions League unless they win the Europa League. In addition, qualification for next season’s Europa League through the Serie A standings doesn’t look likely at the moment. Fonseca may put all of Roma’s eggs into the Europa League basket.
Five players are on Fonseca’s injury list going into the game. Midfielder Leonardo Spinazzola is unlikely to play in the second leg after sustaining a hamstring injury against Ajax a week ago. Forward Stephan El Shaarawy is unlikely to play either. He is nursing a hamstring injury as well. Defenders Chris Smalling and Marash Kumbulla are both doubts to make the matchday squad. Meanwhile, Nicolo Zaniolo is recovering from an ACL injury.
Goalie Andre Onana is banned due to testing positive for an illegal substance. Ten Hag will be without back-up goalie Maarten Stekelenburg due to a knee injury. Ten Hag will once again play 21-year-old Kjell Scherpen, another Ajax academy product. Luckily for the Ajax coach, Ajax have high-quality players in waiting to take the place for injured stars.
Defender Daley Blind is ruled out of the match with an ankle injury. He won’t play the rest of the season. Defender Perr Schuurs is a doubt following a knee injury.
Roma vs Ajax Prediction
Both teams to score: YES @ 1/2 - BET NOW
The first leg finished 2-1 with Roma coming from behind in the second half to claim the win. Ajax must score twice to progress to the semifinals. They must do this without conceding goals. If Ajax score, Roma could also get on the scoresheet. The match could be wide open. Three of Ajax’s five Europa League knockout stage games ended with both teams scoring.
Dusan Tadic to score anytime @ 9/5 - BET NOW
Dusan Tadic had a penalty saved by Roma’s Pau Lopez in the first leg. Had Tadic scored the penalty, the tie would possibly be done and dusted. Tadic is Ajax’s leading scorer with 19 goals in all competitions. With Haller unable to play in the Europa League, the onus falls on Tadic to lead the Dutch team back and get goals.
Over 2.5 goals scored @ 14/25 - BET NOW
Ajax have to score to progress to the next round. The good news for supporters is that the team are brilliant in the final third. They have scored 114 goals in all competitions this season. Roma have conceded 55 times in all competitions. Goals could certainly be scored in the Europa League second leg between the sides.
Ajax’s European away victories against Real Madrid, Juventus and Valencia in recent seasons are still fresh in the team’s mind. Without so key players like Stekelenburg, they may not prevent goals and be able to score twice.
Roma vs Ajax Tips
Here are our Roma vs Ajax tips for Thursday's Europa League quarter-final match at the Stadio Olimpico.
1. Both teams to score: YES @ 1/2
2. Dusan Tadic to score anytime @ 9/5
3. Over 2.5 goals scored @ 14/25
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