Ajax vs. Roma – Europa League, April 8, 2021

By Ben Morris in Europa League
| April 7, 2021 11:17 am PDT

Ajax and Roma meet at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Thursday, April 8, for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie.

Both teams have cruised through the knockout phase up until now. That means this game is destined to be an exciting battle between two of the tournament’s strongest sides.

I assess the Ajax vs. Roma odds before sharing my prediction and pick for the first leg.

Ajax vs. Roma Betting Odds

Ajax to Win1.95
The Draw3.65
Roma to Win3.50

As you can see, 10bet views Ajax (1.95) as the favorite to win on Thursday. However, the high price for the home wins suggests that Erik ten Hag’s men won’t have it all their own way.

Roma (3.50) heads to Amsterdam as the bookmakers’ outsider, but the club from the Italian capital is more than capable of upsetting the Europa League odds.

Let’s take a closer look at the teams.

Ajax Team Analysis

Ajax took another step towards clinching the Eredivisie title at the weekend, coming from behind to beat SC Heerenveen 2-1. Thanks to a 16-game unbeaten streak – 13 wins and three draws – in the league, the Dutch champions are now 11 points clear at the summit.

Dusan Tadic and Sebastien Haller got on the scoresheet again last time out. Tadic now has a whopping 22 goals and 19 assists in all competitions this season, while Haller has bagged nine goals and six assists in 15 appearances since moving from West Ham in January.

After winning just two of their six Champions League group games this term, Ajax was eliminated from the UCL. But it feels like the team is better suited to the Europa League.

Indeed, Erik ten Hag’s men sealed a 4-2 aggregate victory over Lille before crushing Young Boys 5-0 in the previous round.

If they carry that kind of form into the quarter-finals, they will almost certainly hurt Roma.

Having gone 19 seasons without reaching the last four of a European competition, Ajax now has the chance to reach a third semi-final in five years.

Roma Form Assessment

It’s fair to say that Paulo Fonseca’s men have also made light work of their Europa League knockout opponents so far.

After losing just one of their six group games, the Italians thrashed Braga 5-1 in the Round of 32. A few weeks later, Roma hammered Shakhtar Donetsk by exactly the same scoreline – underlining the team’s quality.

Unfortunately, the Giallorossi haven’t been able to show their quality in Serie A recently. Not only have they failed to win any of their last three league games, but they have also won just two of their previous seven.

As a result, Roma has slipped to seventh in the Italian top-flight – six points outside the top four and 17 points behind frontrunner Inter Milan.

An injury to Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t make life any easier for the visitors on Thursday. The attacking midfielder has bagged 11 goals and 11 assists this season, but he is set to miss the first leg with a calf problem.

My Ajax vs. Roma Prediction and Pick

Pick
  • Ajax to Win
    1.95

Having assessed the form of both sides, the home win is my Ajax vs. Roma pick. After all, the Dutch champions are currently enjoying a 24-match unbeaten streak and have won each of their last seven outings.

I can see Roma causing Ajax some problems, but ten Hag’s men have more than enough firepower to overcome the Italians and seal a healthy first-leg advantage on Thursday.

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