HomeFootball NewsAjax vs Aston Villa: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Ajax vs Aston Villa: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

Jordan Henderson-captained Ajax enjoyed their first victory since the arrival of Jordan Henderson from Al Ettifaq on a free transfer in the January transfer window at the weekend as they defeated Utrecht by two goals to nil. They remain fifth in the Eredivisie and were extremely fortunate to defeat Bodo/Glimt after extra-time in the knockout playoffs of this competition, a couple of weeks ago.

Aston Villa have rediscovered some form just in the nick of time as they attempt to maintain a push for a top four spot and UEFA Champions League qualification in the Premier League. The Villains come into this one on the back of defeating Luton Town by three goals to two at Kenilworth Road at the weekend and that made it three successive victories, scoring nine goals in the process.

Read our other Champions League news stories here:
Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen: Preview and prediction
Bayern Munich: Rummenigge plays down Xabi Alonso reports
Real Madrid: Camavinga claims no knowledge of Mbappe agreement

Team News

Ajax do have Jordan Henderson back fully fit after the Englishman recently missed a couple of matches due to injury. They remain without Josip Sutalo, whilst Steven Bergwijn and Gaston Avila are doubtful, too.

Aston Villa have been dealing with several major injury issues as the likes of Diego Carlos and Tyrone Mings remain unavailable with long-term issues. Ezri Konsa and Pau Torres have both recently returned, though, for Unai Emery.

Expected Line-ups

Ajax: Ramaj; Gooijer, Rensch, Kaplan, Hato, Sosa; Hlynsson, Henderson, Mannsverk, Taylor; Brobbey

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Lenglet, Torres, Digne; Douglas Luiz, Tielemans; McGinn, Ramsey, Bailey; Watkins

What they Said

John van ‘t Schip has described upcoming opponents Aston Villa as the ‘strongest’ side remaining in the UEFA Europa Conference League at the Round of 16 stage.

Unai Emery has a few selection dilemmas this week but he did describe the tie and draw as ‘amazing’ as they travel to the Netherlands.

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at the Johann Cruyff Arena on Thursday March 7th at 17:45 and will be shown live on TNT Sports in the UK. It will also be able to be streamed live via the TNT Sports app.

Prediction

This is a really intriguing contest because, on paper, Ajax should be a tough test for Aston Villa but the giants from Amsterdam have been underperforming throughout the campaign and there is a real chance that their only hope of ensuring European football at the Johann Cruyff Arena next season is by winning this competition. Unai Emery may be tempted to rotate ahead of a crucial game against Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on Sunday but even with a few changes, they remain the favourites for this one in the Dutch capital.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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