Wednesday’s Champions League action sees the reigning champions travel to the Netherlands to face another historic giant of the game.
Real Madrid have had a turbulent season but are favourites to overcome an impressive Ajax side. Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund face-off at Wembley at the same time.
Here are a few thoughts and tips on Wednesday’s two matches...
AJAX vs REAL MADRID
Real Madrid’s troubles this term have seen their Champions League winner odds slip to 12/1.
Their form has picked up of late, however, including a 3-1 win away to Atletico Madrid at the weekend. Sergio Ramos was at his big-game best in the derby – the decorated Real centre-back is 10/3 to score anytime in Amsterdam.
Teenager Vinicius Junior has shone this season and will be their primary attacking threat on Wednesday. He’s a thrilling player to watch, jinking past opponents at will, but his production has been limited with just four goals this season.
Gareth Bale could return to the line-up for this one, having been on the bench for the last two matches. The Welshman is a great price at 7/5 to score anytime.
One win in four Eredivisie matches has seen Ajax drop off PSV Eindhoven’s pace atop the table. Defeat to Heracles at the weekend was a surprise, and hardly the ideal preparation for a match against the European champions.
Ajax went unbeaten in the group stage, including a 3-3 draw with Bayern at Amsterdam Arena.
A win in that match would have seen the Dutch side pip the German giants to top spot in the group – they were going toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite despite their comparatively minute budget. The hosts are Evens to avoid defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.
This match will come down to controlling the midfield. Real Madrid need to limit the supply to Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic.
The visitors will be very dangerous in attacking transition through Vinicius and Bale, putting the pressure on Ajax’s trio to limit space in the middle third for Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
Even since Real Madrid’s form has improved, their defence has been far from faultless. The attack is flourishing though, which could lead to a high-scoring match on Wednesday. Ajax will pose problems through Ziyech and Tadic – over 3.5 goals is the way to go.
TIP: Over 3.5 goals @ 7/5
PREDICTED SCORE: Ajax 2-2 Real Madrid (Priced at 11/1 with 888sport)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR vs Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham turned around their Champions League campaign in dramatic fashion after losing their first two matches.
A draw with Barcelona at the Camp Nou secured a spot in the last 16 for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who have put a string of good results together despite injuries to key men Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
Heung-min Son has been superb for Spurs this season, and that form has continued since his return from the Asian Cup. Son is a great price at 11/5 to score anytime.
Spurs have won their last four in the league despite some less than impressive performances. Leicester created chances aplenty at Wembley on Sunday and Borussia Dortmund will be very confident of doing the same in midweek.
Dortmund have scored 54 goals in the Bundesliga this season – they are 33/20 to score over 1.5 at Wembley. Lucien Favre’s side remain top of the Bundesliga, though they collapsed from 3-0 up to draw 3-3 with Hoffenheim at the weekend.
A disappointing 1-1 with Eintracht Frankfurt in their match before that has piled the pressure on, but Favre’s side will continue with their expansive approach in London this week.
While both teams are in the chase for a league title, Tottenham are outsiders and that perhaps puts them under a little more pressure for this one.
Pochettino’s side need a positive result with the second leg on the road, while the visitors would be happy to still be in the tie.
Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and co will fancy their chances against a Spurs defence that conceded several good chances to Leicester at the weekend.
These are two well-matched teams. Spurs come into this in good form and there might not be a better time to play Dortmund all season after an indifferent run of results. Spurs look a good bet at 4/11 to avoid defeat.
TIP: Spurs to win or draw @ 4/11
PREDICTED SCORE: Tottenham 2-1 Dortmund (Priced at 15/2 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*