Ajax VS Celta Vigo Prediction
Both undefeated sides in Group G of the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League will meet for the second time when on Thursday night, 3 November 2016, “Amsterdam ArenA” in Dutch capital is set to host clash between Ajax and Celta Vigo. Two weeks ago Celta and Ajax met at the “Estadio de Balaídos” in Vigo where game ended with a 2-2 draw, but possible success for either may pretty much secure its Round of 32 position. Currently Ajax occupies first position where Peter Bosz’s men are with 7 points and with a 5-3 goal difference, exactly the same numbers which Celta have in their goal indicators, but with difference they’re second with two points less – 5. So virtually we have game that can easily be described as a first-place decider.
Ajax vs Celta Vigo – Team News and Match Preview
Ajax and Celta have some old memories apart from that game two weeks ago, as both clubs were competing in Group H of the 2003-04 UEFA Champions League season, where each team won at home – Ajax of Ronald Koeman won the first round 1-0 (Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the goal scorer), while two weeks later (both rounds were again in short-term – end of October, beginning of November) Celta of Miguel Ángel Lotina won 3-2 in Vigo. Later on Ajax finished on last position in the group and they were eliminated, while Celta was eliminated by Arsenal in the Round of 16. And to this day it remains their only Champions League appearance.
Before aforementioned 2-2 draw in Vigo, Ajax won its previous two group games and “de Godenzonen” must look for consolation in the UEFA Europa League for second consecutive season, since they were eliminated by Rostov in the UEFA Champions League playoffs. Last year Ajax was eliminated on even earlier stage by Rapid Vienna and it seems the once glorious club from Amsterdam is having some real difficulties even to qualify for the Champions League groups. Indeed, season 2016-17 started as a real nightmare for newly appointed coach Peter Bosz but he found a way to overcame that crisis and now Ajax is in a run from 13 games without losing a game. Actually their last defeat remains the catastrophic 4-1 in Rostov, which dates in end of August, and since then Ajax can boast with 11 wins and only 2 draws on all fronts. This includes 9 successive victories in period September-October, when Ajax achieved various prestigious results like a 5-0 win over Willem II for the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup), the two wins against Panathinaikos (1-2 in Athens) and Standard Liège (1-0) at home), as well as these six consecutive wins in Dutch Eredivisie.
Initially Ajax’s overall streak has been ended exactly with the 2-2 draw in Vigo, where Dutch vice-champions took the lead twice, but Celta answered in both occasions. Thereafter, only three days after visit in Galicia, Ajax had a massive challenge in the Eredivisie which could be reviewed as a positive, since the 1-1 draw in Rotterdam (first De Klassieker edition in season 2016-17) was first home slip for Feyenoord since April. In fact Ajax were close to win there as well, but Dirk Kuyt equalized the score in 85th minute, 30 minutes after emerging wonderkid of the season Kasper Dolberg opened the score for Ajax.
“The Sky Blues” are heading to the Netherlands after a frustrating 3-3 draw on Sunday night, when Celta had a trip to the Canary Islands. Everything started so well for Eduardo Berizzo’s men as they were leading 0-3 after only 21 minutes at the “Estadio de Gran Canaria”, but final score between Las Palmas and Celta was 3-3. Even more, Celta can be partially pleased by that draw since centre-back Sergi Gómez has been sent-off in 65th minute, which also caused a penalty for the home side. Seconds later Jonathan Viera reduced Celta’s lead to 2-3 (score was 1-3 before that situation), while two minutes after Viera’s goal, Kevin-Prince Boateng has leveled the score, which situated Celta in an extremely difficult situation. Fact they were ahead 0-3 surely leaves some bitter taste, but on other hand they could also lose the game, especially in these circumstances, so “Célticos” must carry on and try to reach another positive result in their first European participation after 10 years. That’s right, Celta’s previous European campaign was back in season 2006-07 of the UEFA Cup when they have reached the Round of 16, where they lost to Werder Bremen. They have also failed to win in any of their last 5 European outings and last away victory for Celta remains over a decade ago – 0-1 over Standard Liège (14 September 2006), when both sides have once again been in same Europa League group.
Celta failed to do the same around 10 years later (15 September 2016) when their first group game was a visit to Liege – 1:1 draw. It has been followed by a 2-0 home win over Greek Panathinaikos and this keeps Spanish team closely behind Ajax.
Ajax vs Celta Vigo – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Ajax remains at home after six successive home wins and last from them was in the weekend, when Peter Bosz’s men achieved narrow success against Excelsior. Game was missed by Daley Sinkgraven, who plays as a left-back lately, and midfielder Nemanja Gudelj, but it seems both are ready to return in contention and they’ll probably find position in Ajax’s starting XI on Thursday night. Sinkgraven has recovered by his foot injury and expectations are he’ll replace Mitchel Dijks at the left-back, while Nemanja Gudelj has been ill, but he’s ready to refresh Ajax’s midfield at the expense of Lasse Schöne, who meanwhile missed a penalty against Excelsior.
Otherwise Peter Bosz doesn’t have any intention to make other rotations and he’ll probably stick to the same formation he uses in last couple of weeks, which obviously works fine for The Amsterdammers.
Celta arrived in the Netherlands with nearly full strength, but anyway, Argentine coach Eduardo Berizzo has already shown he likes to use different lineup in the Europa League and he gives a chance to players who don’t receive enough minutes in Spanish La Liga.
Claudio Beauvue is the only sure absentee for the away side while Chilean winger Fabián Orellana, who was replaced last weekend due to an injury, also make the travel to Amsterdam. Final decision about Celta’s starting XI will be taken by Eduardo Berizzo but we won’t be surprised if he uses the chance which Celta has in Europe, so he can start with a fusion between first-team players and others who’re eager to play, but they do not do it as often as they want.
Former attacker of Ajax’s rival Feyenoord, John Guidetti, is favourite to lead Celta’s attack here and he’ll surely have some extra motivation to score. Other players who may earn their chance for first-team football are those who already have minutes in some of Celta’s past European encounters, such as of goalkeeper Rubén Blanco, Carles Planas, Andreu Fontàs, Marcelo Diaz, José Naranjo, Josep Señé, Álvaro Lemos and Giuseppe Rossi, but we don’t expect all of them to start. Like we already stated, Celta’s coach may be tempted to name stronger lineup and his squad surely has lot of potential. We saw it 10 days ago when Celta won the Galician derby against Deportivo La Coruna (4-1), not to mention about the 4-3 over Barcelona one month ago.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Our betting recommendation regarding one of the most intriguing Europa League fixtures (at least in our opinion) on Thursday night, 03.11.2016, is related with the attacking potential of both sides here. We believe that Ajax and Celta will repeat same scenario as in their previous clash, when they’ve both scored – “Both teams to score: Yes“.
Venue: “Amsterdam ArenA”, Amsterdam.
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski from Poland.
Possible starting lineups of Ajax and Celta Vigo
AFC Ajax: Andre Onana – Daley Sinkgraven, Nick Viergever, Davinson Sánchez, Joël Veltman – Nemanja Gudelj, Davy Klaassen, Hakim Ziyech – Bertrand Traore, Amin Younes, Kasper Dolberg. (4-3-3)
Celta de Vigo: Rubén Blanco – Carles Planas, Andreu Fontas, Gustavo Cabral, Facundo Roncaglia – Marcelo Díaz, Nemanja Radoja – Pione Sisto, Pablo Hernandez, Theo Bongonda – John Guidetti. (4-2-3-1)