With 10 wins from 12 Eredivisie home games, 29 goals scored and just four conceded, Ajax are our standout selection to deliver Europa League success this evening.
Frank De Boer’s outfit are backed to beat Salzburg in their last 32 first-leg tie while it could be a bad night for British teams with Swansea up against Seria A big guns Napoli and a weakened Tottenham side facing a tricky trip to meet Ukrainian side Dnipro.
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Dutch giants Ajax face Salzburg at the Amsterdam Arena in a battle between two teams who are both flying high in their respective domestic leagues.
Ajax currently top the Eredivise table by four points while the visitors enjoy an astonishing 17-point lead at the summit of Austria’s Bundesliga.
And having won their last eight in the Europa League, Roger Schmidt’s Salzburg are not to be underestimated.
However, this is perhaps an obstacle too far with Ajax hugely impressive at home this season
This stretches to their Champions League campaign where they remained unbeaten in Amsterdam, with a 2-1 victory over Barcelona a highlight.
Added to that, eight straight victories in all competitions in front of their own fans have seen 19 goals scored and just three conceded in a run that looks set to continue here.
Manager Juande Ramos prepares for the visit of old-club Tottenham knowing that the visitors will be fielding a second-string XI to face his tidy Dnipro side.
Spurs have Champions League qualification in mind and their assault on the top four has clearly been prioritised with Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele, Younes Kaboul and Hugo Lloris all set to be left out.
And despite their impressive away record in the competition this season, scoring 11 goals without reply, this trip represents a sterner test for the Lilywhites.
Dnipro have suffered only one defeat in their previous 11 competitive matches at home and having seen off the likes of Napoli and PSV on their own patch in recent seasons this under-strength Tottenham side could struggle.
Spanish forward Michu remains an absentee for Swansea and his continued omission has hampered the Welsh side’s efforts in recent months with six defeats in the 13 games since he suffered an ankle injury.
The hosts welcome Rafa Benitez’s accomplished Napoli team to the Liberty Stadium for a tie that was already going to be difficult enough, even with Michu on the pitch.
Gli Azzurri have lost just two of their previous 16 matches all competitions and should be considered as one of the favourites to win the Europa League having only crashed out of the Champions League on goal difference
And this away day looks the be the perfect opportunity for the visitors to reverse a run of three straight defeats in this competition against a Swans side who ended their group stage campaign with a whimper, losing 1-0 to both Valencia and St. Gallen.
A total of just six goals in their six Group A matches is a concern and this inability to break down savvy European defences could cost Garry Monk’s team once again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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