Dutch giants Ajax travel to Lyon holding a huge 4-1 lead from the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semifinal, but French side are not giving up on their hopes of reaching the final. IWith nothing to lose and all to play for, the hosts are expected to push hard and it all makes promise for an exciting match to come.
Lyon not to be discarded just yet
French Ligue 1 side Lyon have been in rather fine form during the course of the season thus far. They failed to join the leading pack in race for the title however, and the fans will probably be disappointed to see their team missing out on the Champions League places as well, but Bruno Genesio could be pleased with the work he’s done. Les Gones appear to be losing pace at the crucial part in the season however and could be set for a disappointing elimination from the competition that remains their only chance of salvaging the season and claiming a spot in the Champions league next year. Three-goal deficit is a lot, but the unpredictable Lyon side are not to be discarded just yet, most of all as they still have an away goal to hold on to. Lyon boast an exciting squad that made a solid start in Amsterdam last week. The French team has not been outplayed and will surely be hoping that the Alexandre Lacazette factor might kick in the rematch. Together with Manchester United reject Memphis Depay and Corentin Tolisso, the prolific French striker Lacazette will be considered a major threat in the second leg. He has thus far been involved in 35 of the 71 goals for his side this season.
Lyon will have almost all of their first-team choices fit and ready to feature in the rematch on Thursday, with the exception of aforementioned Cristian Tolisso, who has picked up a muscle injury.
Ajax keep up the fine form
Last week’s 4-1 triumph over Lyon was the best possible way for Ajax to recover from the 1-0 defeat to PSV which seemingly ended Ajax’s title hopes in Eredivisie. Peter Bosz responded in style, by sticking 4 past the respectable international rival and kept the momentum with another four-goal win at the weekend. De Godenzonen ran riot over Go Ahead Eagles to take advantage of the surprising result which saw league leaders Feyenord succumb to a 3-0 defeat at Exelscior. Having revived their title hopes once again, Ajax will use the high spirits to secure their place in the Europa League finish and close the current season in great style. Winning a double would be a huge achievement for the young squad that remains one of the most respectable forces in Europa League this season. Peter Bosz’s men have had the most attempts on goal of any side this season and they have managed to score in 12 of 13 European matches thus far. Ajax are not expected to head into the replay looking to defend their lead and we should definitely expect to see an openly-contested match.
Midfielder Daley Sinkgraven is still nursing his knee injury and will most likely be omitted for the match. First-choice defenders Nick Viergever and Joel Veltman are returning from their suspensions to offer a huge boost for the home side.
Lyon need to chase the result and try to score an early goal to breathe life into the clash in Amsterdam, whereas Ajax are not expected to drop back and defend as such approach goes against their mentality. Brace yourselves for a highly eventful match with a lot of goals once again on the score sheet.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.44 (4/9) @Bet365
Alternative pick 1: Over 3.5 goals 2.00 (1/1) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score in first half 3.40 (12/5) @WilliamHill