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Champions League: Juventus vs. Ajax preview, team news, starting XIs, predictions, betting odds, TV

Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored a header against Ajax in the Champions League
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Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored a header against Ajax in the Champions League
Description 

Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored a header against Ajax in the Champions League

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Michael Steele/Getty Images
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Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored a header against Ajax in the Champions League

After a 1-1 draw in Holland the tie is evenly balanced ahead of the second leg

Preview
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 3:01pm
Juventus vs. Ajax
  • What: Uefa Champions League quarter-final second leg (1-1 on aggregate) 
  • When: Tuesday 16 April 
  • Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy 
  • Kick off: 8pm (UK time) 
  • TV channel and live stream: BT Sport 3 
  • Referee: Clément Turpin (France)

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg the quarter-final tie between Juventus and Ajax is finely balanced ahead of Tuesday’s return fixture in Turin.

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Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 125th Champions League goal last week in Amsterdam and the Italians will hope the Portugal star can again make the difference against the talented Dutch side.

The “Old Lady” lost the 2015 and 2017 UCL finals and brought Ronaldo to Italy to help secure European club football’s biggest prize.

Juve missed out on securing an eighth successive Serie A title at the weekend after losing 2-1 against SPAL. However, head coach Massimiliano Allegri rested a number of players, including Ronaldo, to prepare for the clash against Ajax.

Allegri said: “Making records is very difficult, you have to spend energy and there is also Europe to concentrate on.

“If we had put to put all our starters in, it would have been easier to win it, but there is the goal to obtain on Tuesday. We have made 27 victories, three draws and two defeats and this is an impressive record.”

Comeback kings

In the round of 16 both Ajax and Juventus completed memorable comebacks to beat the Madrid clubs. After losing 2-1 at home to Real Madrid Ajax travelled to the Bernabeu and won 4-1 on the night, 5-3 on aggregate.

Juve lost 2-0 in their last-16 first-leg tie against Atletico but Ronaldo starred with a second-leg hat-trick as the Italians won 3-0 in Turin, 3-2 on aggregate.

After David Neres scored an equaliser to cancel out Ronaldo’s goal in the quarter-final first leg, Ajax will be confident of another memorable away trip.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw in the first leg, Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag said: “One-one is not the result you hope for, but it is a result. Last time we lost 2-1 to Madrid at home, so we are still in it. We had some very good opportunities.”

The winners of the Juventus vs. Ajax tie will face Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals.

Video of Ajax vs Juventus (1-1) | UEFA Champions League Highlights

Team news and possible starting XIs

Juventus injury news and suspensions

According to reports Juventus could be without Giorgio Chiellini, Martin Caceres, Emre Can and Douglas Costa because of injury. Blaise Matuidi is also a doubt after an injury in the first leg.

Juve don’t have any suspensions but should Federico Bernardeschi or Matuidi get booked they would miss the semi-final first leg.

Ajax injury news and suspensions

Goal.com reports that Hassane Bande and Carel Eiting are both long-term absentees. Star midfielder Frenkie de Jong is also a doubt after coming off injured in Ajax’s 6-2 win over Excelsior at the weekend.

Nicolás Tagliafico misses the Turin clash because of suspension, Daley Sinkgraven could replace him. Noussair Mazraoui returns from suspension.

De Jong, Daley Blind, Matthijs De Ligt, Lasse Schöne, Donny van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech are on a booking and would miss the semi-final first leg if they are yellow carded in Turin.

Possible starting XIs

How the teams could line up at the Allianz Stadium, according to Uefa.com.

  • Juventus possible starting XI: Szczęsny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Pjanić, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Mandžukić, Ronaldo 
  • Ajax possible starting XI: ​Onana; Veltman, Blind, De Ligt, Mazraoui; De Jong, Van de Beek, Schöne; Neres, Tadić, Ziyech

Predictions

90min: “Juventus aren’t necessarily at the peak of their powers right now and they have a number of first-team stars out injured, but their insatiable desire to end the long wait for Champions League glory shouldn’t be underestimated. Ajax have performed admirably to get themselves into this position and, if they can grab an early away goal then they’ll have a genuine shot at causing another upset. They don’t, however, have Ronaldo in their ranks. As proven countless times, the Portuguese superstar lives for games like this and his influence could end up deciding the outcome of the match. It certainly won’t be straightforward, but Juventus should have enough experience to get the job done. Score prediction: Juventus 2 Ajax 1 [3-2 on aggregate].”

SportsMole: “Ajax should not be written off on the back of their incredible win at the Bernabeu. Despite having momentum on their side, though, they do not boast a player with the game-changing abilities of Ronaldo. That, quite simply, could well be the difference between the sides over the two legs. Score prediction: Juventus 2 Ajax 1 [3-2 on aggregate].”

Juve vs. Ajax betting odds

As of 15 April, see Oddschecker for the latest prices.

Match betting
  • Juventus to win: 8/11 
  • Draw: 3/1 
  • Ajax to win: 9/2
To qualify
  • Juventus: 4/11 
  • Ajax: 5/2
To win the Champions League
  • Juventus: 4/1   
  • Ajax: 28/1  

Quarter-final second-leg fixtures and TV guide

Tuesday 16 April
Wednesday 17 April
  • Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-1 on aggregate; 8pm live on BT Sport 2) 
  • FC Porto vs. Liverpool (0-2 on aggregate; 8pm live on BT Sport 3)

Quarter-final first-leg results

Sport
Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo Ajax UEFA Champions League

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