APOEL Nicosia will be ready when they welcome last season’s semifinalists Ajax to the GSP Stadium for this UEFA Champions League playoff 1st leg tie. Which team will advance and make the group stages? Read on for APOEL Nicosia vs Ajax betting tips and predictions.
APOEL, who are regulars at this stage in the Champions League, endured a torrid continental campaign last season as they were eliminated for the first time by FK Suduva. They failed in the Europa League qualifying playoffs as well, missing out on European group stage action for the first time since the 2012/13 season.
This term they look back to their best after beating Sutjeska and Qarabag so far before being handed this incredibly tough draw. Winning a spot in the Champions League group stages might be too big to ask for the hosts, but they can at least look forward to the Europa League group stages. That being said, APOEL could make things difficult for Ajax in this first leg. Their home record in Europe is generally decent, and Ajax have already slipped up on the road this season.
Ajax, who are still adjusting to life without the departed Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, haven’t enjoyed a perfect start to the season so far. Admittedly they remain unbeaten, but they have drawn 2 of their 6 competitive games and both of these came in their 3 away matches. With Captain de Ligt gone, it’s their defence that’s letting them down. Even with de Ligt, they weren’t the sturdiest at the back, but now they have conceded in 4 of their last 5 games and have shipped 2 goals away to both Vitesse and PAOK.
- APOEL have scored in all of their last 6 fixtures while Ajax have done so in their last 13.
- APOEL have only lost 4 of their last 20 European home matches.
- APOEL have won 3 and lost 1 of their last 4 competitive fixtures.
- Ajax are undefeated in 20 of their last 22 European competitive fixtures.
- Ajax are unbeaten in their last 6 competitive fixtures (W4 D2).
APOEL vs Ajax Prediction
- APOEL Nicosia and Ajax have both scored in their recent 6 fixtures. Given how both teams have performed, we fancy both teams getting on the scoresheet.
- Ajax have won 1 and drawn 1 of their last 2 meetings in APOEL in this competition back in 2014. The visitors are in form and unbeaten in their last 6 competitive fixtures but did struggle defensively against PAOK last time out. We think APOEL can get a result on their own turf, so we are backing this game to end in a 2-2 draw.
Check out our other free football prediction and tips for the featured matches this week.