Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Benfica - Ajax: prediction "2"

Benfica and Ajax are not among the favorites for the Champions League trophy, but they performed more than worthy in the group stage and fully deserved their place in the round of 16. One of them will continue, and in recent years we have enjoyed pleasant surprises in the tournament. One of them was the Dutch champion when he reached the semifinals in the 2018/19 season.

Benfica remained second in their group, ahead of only the unshakable Bayern Munich. The Eagles managed to beat Barcelona in the battle for a place in the round of 16 by taking four points from the Spanish grandmaster. The home game of Barça was won with a clear 3-0, and the second victory came over Dynamo Kiev, again at home, in the last round and practically put Benfica ahead.

Ajax was part of one of the most curious groups in which anyone could happen. Well, there was drama, but the Sons of God was not involved. They beat absolutely all of their rivals in the form of Besiktas, Borussia Dortmund and Sporting Lisbon, recording six victories. In these matches, the Dutch champion scored at least twice, scoring a total of 20 goals and conceding only five.

Benfica enters the upcoming match in a not very good mood, as there is practically no chance for the title in Portugal. On Friday, a new shoot was allowed for the final 2: 2, after two goals ahead as a guest of Boavishta. At the same time, Ajax is enjoying a great season in which they rarely fail to win. Over the weekend, there was minimal success with 1: 0 over Willem II, as this was one of many meetings with a dry net for the team in the current campaign. A month ago, the Sons of God defeated PSV as a guest, with which the top places were exchanged, and the lead for Ajax is already five points.

The champion of the Netherlands enters as a huge favorite in this elimination pair and today receives a coefficient with which to at least win. Bookmakers seem to slightly underestimate the hosts, who have something to show, at least at home. We watched a lot of successful football from Ajax in the group stage of the tournament, but in the elimination phase it is a little different. Everything is decided in two meetings and I expect a calmer start to the first one. The hosts have kept a dry net in two of their three home games in the tournament so far, and the guests are having a stunning season in defense. I expect a calmer start to the match and the first goal to wait.


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