This game sees two of the all time heavyweights of European football go head-to-head and whilst Real Madrid have the group in the bag, for the Dutch there is plenty to play for.
If the home side can manage a draw, available at 5/2 (Betfred – £50 free bets), then they will qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since the 2005/6 season. However, this will be no easy task against a side with a 100% record in the competition and who have also won the last nine in La Liga. Mourinho’s side are full of goals, averaging a remarkable 3.54 per game in the league and just over three in this competition.
The Dutch side may take some comfort from the fact that Madrid have not been quite so dominant when playing outside Spain. They beat Lyon 2-0 in France and only won 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb. Given that Ajax have a superb defensive record there has to be belief among the Ajax ranks.
Frank de Boer’s side will also hope that the visitors rest some players, given that Los Blancos face Barcelona just three days after this game. Real have good strength in depth but with El Clásico around the corner we would expect Ronaldo and other key players to sit this one out.
Under the circumstances the odds of an Ajax victory will tempt many a punter and at 2/1 (bet365 – £200 free betting) they certainly have some appeal. Of course, the draw would also see them through, irrespective of Lyon’s result in Zagreb and so it may be worth looking at the Asian handicap and Ajax +0.5 at 4/7 (188bet).
The home side have only conceded three goals in their five European games and will look to keep things as tight as possible. With the opposition fielding a second string side and having nothing to play for, under 2.5 goals also appeals at 24/23 (188bet).
This is sure to be an intriguing match and despite Mourinho’s will to win every game and the superb squad he has at his disposal, we think that his side will have one eye on Sunday. The team from Amsterdam may not get the win here but we strongly fancy they’ll finish the game smiling and claim the runner-up spot in the group.