A very interesting match-up awaits between the Dutch Champions and the German up-and-coming team. This year the Europa League is promising to be an entertaining prospect, with many high-profile teams and players competing for the title. In comparison, this year’s playoff has pinned fixtures between teams that normally one would only associate with the Champions League.
In this blog, we will focus on the game between Ajax and Union Berlin; we hope that you enjoy our take on what we might witness in this tie, as well as our betting tips. Make sure to visit our LV BET Sports Blog for more in-depth analysis of games from the Champions League and Europa League.
At the time of writing, Ajax finds themselves in second place in the Eredersive, with Feyenoord just three points above them. Recent form has been patchy for the defending champions, and one could easily pinpoint some reasons why. In the previous summer transfer window, Ajax lost their manager, Erik Ten Hag, who played an influential role in building the team that many top teams around Europe could not handle, especially in the Champions League campaign of 2018/19. Adding to that, Antony and Lisandro Martinez have followed in the footsteps of their manager and joined Manchester United in the same transfer window. Three big cogs in Ajax’s machine were pinched away, and thus the team is feeling the ramifications of that exodus.
The ethos of Ajax has always been on an excellent scouting system and bringing up talented players whilst playing a very attractive brand of football. The new generation of talent consists of Mohammed Kudus, Jurrien Timber, Calvin Bassey, and Steven Berghuis. For this young team, the Champions League has been a bit too much, especially against teams like Liverpool and Napoli, who blitzed the group, but the Europa League will give them great experience and freedom to express their abilities on the ball.
We are anticipating an open game with plenty of chances on both sides, LV BET is pricing both teams to score at 13/20 (1.65). Ajax are priced at 13/2 (7.50) to run out 3-1 winners whilst also at 16/7 (3.30) to win without conceding a goal.
Union Berlin had a blistering start to the Bundesliga, but their progress has somewhat been stunted as momentum ebbed away. In terms of the Europa League, their latest victory over Union Saint-Gilloise was not enough to earn them the top spot in the group, so they will now have to play the extra game. Up against Ajax, it will be a tough prospect to overcome, but if they are able to rekindle their form from the opening few games in the Bundesliga, they should be able to overcome the challenge.
One of the biggest threats that the German team poses is Sheraldo Becker, who has bagged seven goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances as well as the combination play with Genki Haraguchi. The German team is a very young one that is willing to put the opposition team under pressure and will try and impose themselves in the game rather than sitting deep and hitting with the counterattack. Counter-attacking football is another tool in their arsenal, but they much prefer to dictate the tempo of the game themselves.
We are pricing a Union Berlin win in the first leg at 19/5 (4.80) with a 1-1 draw valued at 18/5 (4.60). The German team comes in at 7/4 (2.75) to be the first team to score in the opening game of the tie.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing