After a terrifying start to the new campaign, Ajax is looking for their third straight win when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Thursday in their Europa League Group B match. The Dutch powerhouses will also try to exact revenge on the Seagulls, who defeated the hosts 2-0 at the Amex last month to win on the continent for the first time on three attempts.
Ajax vs Brighton
Thursday night’s matchup between Ajax and Brighton in Group B of the Europa League group round promises to be an interesting one.
Since Erik ten Hag left for Manchester United in June of last year, Ajax have changed significantly. At the end of the previous month, the Eredivisie record champions signed John van ‘t Schip to take Hedwiges Maduro’s place, who had been with the team for just over a month. The team has already had five head coaches in less than a year, but John van ‘t Schip, 59, has won both of his games in charge and has already made notable progress.
Graham Potter had already made Brighton successful, but Roberto De Zerbi has improved the team even further. The Seagulls made history last season when they qualified for the European Football Championship, and they’re performing admirably at home this year. Despite having only four points from three games, De Zerbi’s men’s Europa League campaign hasn’t exactly gone as planned, but they still stand a decent chance of finishing first in Group B.
The Seagulls had a fantastic start to the 2023–24 season, but in recent months, they have somewhat faded into obscurity, maybe as a result of the demanding schedule that comes with playing in Europe.
They have only won two of their previous ten competitive games, and they have lost their last five away from home games, including their 1-1 draw against Everton on Saturday.
Despite having the worst season opening in club history, Ajax is still a strong team in the latter third of the pitch. This season, the only clubs with more goals than the “sons of the gods” are the top five in the Eredivisie.
The main reason Brighton’s games, across all competitions, have generated news this season is their entertainment value. They have scored three goals per game on average across their fifteen outings this season. In just two of those contests, no team has failed to score.
In his first game in command at the beginning of November, the former youth coach put an end to a 10-match losing streak as Ajax defeated Volendam. The team’s confidence was further bolstered when they defeated Heerenveen again the following weekend.
Their most recent Europa League match ended in a loss at Brighton, but they have two draws from three group matches, so they have a chance to win at home.
Supporting Ajax in the double chance market makes sense given their recent success, but the two teams might split the spoils. In their last six games, Brighton has resulted in four draws, with their last two ending in draws.
Tip: Ajax to Win or Draw / BTTS (YES)
Ajax to win or Draw – ❌
BTTS (Yes) – ❌
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