FK Rostov VS Ajax Prediction
Ajax travels to Russia with group of 21 men and happily they have reached an agreement for Jasper Cillessen to play for the Dutch club in the UEFA Champions League playoff against Rostov on Wednesday night. Great news for Peter Bosz who must revive his squad after another disappointing home effort last weekend when in Saturday evening Ajax lost by Willem II – 1:2. This was their fourth unsuccessful home attempt in season 2016-2017, but situation is much brighter in Ajax’s outings.
On other side we have Rostov who can be satisfied by the final score at “Amsterdam Arena” as first leg has ended in a draw, which is the reason why Ajax’s coach Peter Bosz doesn’t want to be without his first goalkeeper for the second leg. Well, Russian team was also left by a key player as Bastos joined Italian Serie A side Lazio, so Dmitri Kirichenko will stick to the same squad used in Amsterdam where Fyodor Kudryashov was part from the centre-back trio alongside Ivan Novoseltsev and César Navas.
Rostov’s trip to Amsterdam was followed by domestic game for The Selmashi when in Saturday evening their general warm up for the decisive second Champions League playoff was marked by a 3-0 victory against Tom Tomsk. Few days later surprising Russian vice-champions are on eve of their biggest football moment as Rostov has realistic opportunity to enter in the UEFA Champions League, although Kurban Berdyev (coach who created current selection) left the club after that glorious victory in Belgium – 2-0 vs Anderlecht. That game was followed by the already reviewed draw in Amsterdam and two more domestic slips, so virtually Rostov’s victory over Tom Tomsk was first success for Dmitri Kirichenko as a head coach. He was Kurban Berdyev’s assistant previously. It won’t be a tragedy if Rostov fails to qualify for the Champions League, as they’ve already secured position in the UEFA Europa League, but we all know what’s the difference here, no matter if we talk about money or prestige.
For some reason Ajax shows more (even maximum) efficiency in its away games this year and they have won in both occasions – victory vs PAOK (2:1) which has qualified them for the playoffs, followed by the 3:1 win vs Sparta Rotterdam in their first Eredivisie away fixture. Furthermore it remains Ajax’s only win in the Eredivisie and this places them on 8th position with only 4 points won, but positive is that only three rounds have already passed. So actually Ajax is more tempted by the Champions League and its financial meaning, but same here goes for Rostov. This makes the game even more significant for both sides – Ajax must defend its European reputation while Rostov have some financial issues, which automatically rises importance of the playoff.
UCL playoff: FK Rostov vs Ajax – Squads and Betting Prediction
Our expectations aren’t for something different than in round one where Ajax was the more insistent team, logically, while Rostov were defending in their 3-5-2 formation, which can also be viewed as a 5-3-2. After the early goal scored by Christian Noboa (13th minute), Ajax were lucky to answer after another successfully executed penalty by Davy Klaassen, who has also scored both goals in Thessaloniki and one from them was after penalty as well.
Rotations in Ajax’s starting lineup are very likely if we consider that summer signing Bertrand Traoré still can’t meet the expectations, so we won’t be surprised if Danish talent Kasper Dolberg starts on his place. Amin Younes and Anwar El Ghazi will most likely maintain their starting positions on the wings, while rotations are also expected in midfield. We highly doubt that Peter Bosz will use the same squad that lost against Willem II and midfield duo Daley Sinkgraven/Nemanja Gudelj are expected to start here. And if Gudelj was involved in the first game, Sinkgraven may replace Riechedly Bazoer.
Rostov don’t have any reason to make any particular changes, but it’s possible Sardar Azmoun to replace Aleksandr Bukharov up front. Azmoun’s Iranian compatriot Saeid Ezatolahi also pushes for starting position as he competes wit Aleksandr Erokhin, if we consider that Christian Noboa and skipper Alexandru Gațcan are rock-solid for their starting position.
After all our words and hints we expect similar game as in Amsterdam, then our betting recommendation is same as in the first leg. Our expectations are that both teams will score once again – “Both teams to score – Yes”.
Venue: “Olimp 2”, Rostov-na-Donu.
Referee: Milorad Mazic from Serbia.
UCL playoff: FK Rostov vs AFC Ajax – Squads and Betting Tip
FK Rostov: Soslan Dzhanaev – Fedor Kudryashov, Ivan Novoseltsev, Cesar Navas – Denis Terentyev, Christian Noboa, Aleksandr Gaţcan, Saeid Ezatolahi, Timofei Kalachev – Dmitri Poloz, Sardar Azmoun. (3-5-2)
AFC Ajax: Jasper Cillessen – Kenny Tete, Joël Veltman, Jairo Riedewald, Mitchell Dijks – Nemanja Gudelj, Daley Sinkgraven, Davy Klaassen – Anwar El Ghazi, Amin Younes, Kasper Dolberg. (4-3-3)