Where: Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, NetherlandsWhen: Thursday, September 21, 9 pm CET
The Dutch powerhouse Ajax meets Marseille in the opening round of the UEFA Europa League group stage. These two clubs have a rich history, being both the European champions in the past and producing an unreal number of world-class players. Though, this year, they compete in the second tier of European competitions. Nevertheless, their ambitions are the highest possible, which would be to win the trophy of the competition and add another piece of silverware to their collection.
Ajax vs. Marseille Preview
The Lancers have been more than inconsistent and unconvincing in the opening few weeks of competitive football. Ajax did eliminate Ludogorets to reach the Europa League, but matches against Sittart 0-0, Excelsior 2-2, as well as preseason defeats to Dortmund, 3-1 and Augsburg with the same result have revealed plenty of weaknesses.
Their midfield is far from competitive, and the Lancers don’t have proper replacements for Tadic and Kudus, who were the leading forces and main playmakers on the field. One more thing: Brobbey isn’t the caliber for Ajax.
The sooner the fans and the management realize that, the better, because things might change, and there could be some adjustments in the system.
This team was built for the UEFA Champions League, though it failed to reach it. Panathinaikos eliminated the French unit, making one of the biggest surprises in the entire UCL qualifiers.
Head coach Marcelino is still adapting to the environment, and the former Valencia coach needs more time to make the team according to his taste.
Marseille spent a solid amount of cash this summer to land prominent names to Velodrom, like Aubameyang, Ismaila Sarr, Malinovsky, Kondogbia, Ndiaye from Sheffield United, etc. They have an exceptional offensive line, who, by the way, performs well, but the defense struggles to provide consistency.
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Ajax vs. Marseille Possible Lineups
Ajax: Gorter; Rensch, Sutalo, Hato, Avila; Van Den Boomen, Tahirovic, Hlynsson, Mikautadze, Borges; Brobbey
Marseille: Lopez; Clauss, Gigot, Mbemba, Lodi; Veretout, Kondogbia, Rongier; Sarr, Vitinha, Aubameyang
Ajax vs. Marseille Head to Head Games
The two clubs had met in the 2009 Europa League knockout meetings, with Marseille triumphing at home, 2-1, and later securing an advance to the next stage with a 2-2 draw fought in the extra times.
Ajax vs. Marseille Predictions
The hosts have plenty of problems with injured players and aren’t as as strong as before. Meanwhile, individually speaking, Marseille is much better than its rivals, but the team is without chemistry. Marcellino’s primary task is to create cohesion, with the game in Amsterdam being a big test. Our pick here is for both teams to score, even though we feel that Marseille has more chances to triumph.
Our verdict: Both teams to score
Ajax vs. Marseille Odds
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