- Ajax host Roma in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal tie on Thursday, April 8th at 3:00 pm EST
- These two sides last met in Europe in the 2002/03 Champions League in the second group stage which saw one game end in Ajax’s favor by a score of 2-1 and the other end in a stalemate
- Currently, the favorites to win the first leg are Ajax with moneyline odds of +100
The European quarterfinals are here and Thursday features a clash between two European giants, Ajax vs Roma at the Amsterdam ArenA. It is the first leg of a two-legged fixture but is a crucial game nonetheless. To get to this point in the Europa League Ajax had to take down Lille and BSC Young Boys of Switzerland. They impressively won all four of those knockout contests and outscored their opponents 9-2.
Meanwhile, Roma had to claw their way past Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk, also winning all four of their matches. Domestically, it has been a challenging season for Roma as they sit in seventh place, five points away from any European contention. More recently, it has been a tough spell Paulo Fonseca’s side, as they have failed to win a Serie A game in their past three tries. Roma’s defense has been letting them down which will make for a long night against Ajax’s high-powered offense featuring Dusan Tadic and Sebastien Haller.
Ajax vs Roma Odds
|Matchup||Spread||Moneyline||Total at DraftKings|
|Ajax vs Roma||AJA -0.5 (-103) | ROM +0.5 (-118)||AJA +100 | ROM +270 | DRAW +255||Ov 2.5 (-150) | Un 2.5 (+123)|
Odds as of Apr 6
Can Ajax Translate Their Domestic Success?
Furthermore, in two out of the last four years, Ajax has reached a European semifinal of some form. While their side has had quite a bit of roster turnover, they continue to prove they can compete in Europe. Additionally, it is hard to not favor a team that has not lost since their string of defeats in early December. With that being said, Ajax plays in a much easier domestic league than Roma so make of it what you will.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) April 6, 2021
With less regular challenge. it makes it harder for some of these sides to turn up for the big European nights. While Roma has had a tough go of it lately, they play against much better talent week in and week out. Ajax’s offense looks scintillating against PEC Zwolle and Rotterdam. However, in their Champions League group this year paired against Liverpool, Atalanta and Midtjylland, they were kept off the scoresheet in three of six games.
Ajax vs Roma Domestic Statistics
|3.15||Goals per game||1.83|
|20.3||Shots per game||14.2|
Roma Without Smalling and Mkhitaryan
After also making it to a Champions League semifinal just a few years ago, Roma looks to advance in Europe once again, this time in the Europa League. It is fair to say Roma has dropped off a little bit in the past few years. Nonetheless, they are still a European powerhouse that surely knows how to win a European cup tie. Unfortunately, they will have to do so without two of their most important players.
"The first leg will be very important. As long as we keep a clean sheet at home, we’ll have a very good chance of making it through."
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) April 6, 2021
First choice center back Chris Smalling and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be missing the trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax. As Roma expects to face a challenging attack, it will be interesting to see how they cope in the middle against Haller. The even more pressing challenge is how they expect to feed Edin Dzeko without the delivery and creativity of Mkhitaryan in the middle of the pitch. Lorenzo Pellegrini will offer some assistance going forward but will be tasked with his own challenge, directly lining up across from Ryan Gravenberch.
Ajax vs Roma Best Bet
Overall, the best bet for this match is the Ajax moneyline at +100. This bet has good value for a fairly even matchup and is safe as Ajax generally plays well at their home arena in Amsterdam. The main concern for Roma is their current form and the fact that they are going to have to play this game without two key talents. Smalling has had his injuries throughout the year so it is not a peculiar challenge, but still a difficult task nonetheless when you are facing a team who has scored 114 goals this season.
My Pick: Ajax moneyline (+100)
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