The Dutch giants need three points to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League, and here is my Ajax vs Atalanta Preview for Wednesday’s game.
Ajax Recent Form & Team News
It is win or bust for Ajax – anything less, and they will transfer to the UEFA Europa League. After a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on the penultimate UEFA Champions League group stage matchday, the Dutch champions have won just three of their last nine UCL fixtures (W3, D2, L4), with Ajax winning the first half in four (80%) of the games won/drawn.
Despite claiming an easy win over Midtjylland in the last UCL game here, three 1-0 UCL home defeats immediately prior threw their usual winning mentality into question. Furthermore, if including qualifiers, four (66.67%) of the Dutch champions’ last six UCL home games have seen the winner on the day go into the break 1-0 up.
Player to watch: Ajax playmaker Dušan Tadić nailed two assists inside the first five minutes of the second half in the home win over Midtjylland (Nov 25).
Erik Ten Hag will be without Mohammed Kudus (knee), while David Neres (ankle) and Lassina Traore are questionable to face Atalanta on Wednesday.
Atalanta Recent Form & Team News
Atalanta need only a clean sheet to progress to the UCL Round of 16, but a 1-1 draw vs the eliminated Midtjylland marked their third UCL game in four to see them trail to nil at HT. Yet, they have shown ruthlessness at select times, with both group stage wins seeing them net consecutive match goals less than seven minutes apart.
Seeing all of their six prior Champions League away games (W4, L2) produce over 2.5 total goals and/or witnessing the winner overcome the -1 handicap, the visitors are chasing a fifth consecutive UCL away win. In a sequence going back to December 2019, the preceding four have seen Atalanta average 3.25 goals per game, and an average winning margin of 2.50 goals.
Player to watch: Aiming to outdo Ajax’s main creator, Hans Hateboer has registered an assist beyond the hour mark in each of Atalanta’s last two UCL outings.
Hot stat: In the 2010s decade, a 77.78% majority (21) of the 27 Italian UCL group stage participants progressed to the Round of 16.
Gian Piero Gasperini cannot count on Mattia Caldara (Achilles tendon), Aleksey Miranchuk (illness), Johan Mojica (muscle), and Mario Pasalic (muscle).
Hopefully this Ajax vs Atalanta Preview helped you to make your pick, and if that was the case, feel free to subscribe to our website and follow us on social networks for more Champions League previews and news.