Ajax secured a narrow margin victory over Celtic in the previous round, but they were not particularly convincing against the Scottish team. They are now left with no choice but to win one of the last three games, if they are to advance to the next stage of the Champions League. This plan is a bit far-fetched, because the team from the Netherlands will be facing Barcelona at home this round, while the final fixture pits them against AC Milan in Italy.
A more reasonable scenario is for them to finish third and in order to play in Europa League next spring, they can’t afford to be losing both remaining games. It all depends on whether Celtic finds the strength of causing a major upset, an unlikely scenario as well. One week ago both teams had the same chance, but now Celtic are trailing. For the time being Ajax has the tall order of finding a way to shut down Barcelona, one of the most powerful teams in the world. http://www.4football.net/ajax-tries-to-capitalize-on-celtics-road-games-woes/.
The good news for the hosts is that they have greatly stepped-up their defensive efforts and conceded a single goal in the last six games, in all competitions. A narrow margin defeat to Vitesse was the only one to score their otherwise flawless record and they now hope to extend the winning streak against the Spanish giant. Securing the objective depends on their ability to block the corridors for Barcelona’s fast and incredibly talented strikers, something that is made easier by the fact that Messi will be missing.
The visiting team has all but secured qualification and it is most unlikely that AC Milan will find a way of offsetting the five point deficit. As a result, they are more concerned about avoiding injuries and consolidating their position in Primera Division. Barcelona will be playing games every three days in the next three weeks, which means that they have to rest key players whenever the stakes are low.
This match is a prime example and that’s why punters should refrain from backing the visiting team, especially with bookmakers underpricing them greatly. Depending on bankroll, willingness to take chances and desired profits, punters can take the double chance wager or back Ajax with the cover of +1.5 goals handicap. Even if Barcelona wins in Amsterdam, they will probably earn a narrow margin victory that will still make the aforementioned bet a winner.