Ajax vs Sturm Graz
UEFA Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Kick-Off at 19:30 UK / 20:30 CET
Venue: Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam.
Sturm are back to the most elite football competition on the continent after seven years, but they’ll have a very tough task to stay there for more than two matches.
The Austrian Bundesliga runners-up will have to jump above Dutch heavyweights Ajax for the place in the third qualifying round.
This is certainly one of the most interesting ties at this stage of the competition. The first leg is set to be played on Wednesday evening at Johan Cruijff Arena.
De Godenzonen failed to reach the group stage of any competition last year. They got stopped by Nice in the third round of the UCL qualifiers (3-3 on aggregate) before falling to Norwegian Rosenborg in the Europa League play-offs (4-2 on aggregate).
They’ve not been in the Champions League groups since 2014 and a failure here against Sturm Graz would certainly be a major disaster for the Amsterdam heavyweights.
Ajax vs Sturm Graz: Head-to-head
Ajax and Sturm will have the chance to enjoy their first head to head encounter here.
Ajax vs Sturm Graz: Prediction
Erik ten Hag has reasons to be worried ahead of the first official game of the season. Ajax are winless in four consecutive friendlies, each of which saw goals at both ends.
Ten Hag’s main challenge will be to find the way to prevent the Austrians from scoring an away goal here, but it will be a very tough task knowing that all of last eight Champions League matches Ajax played also saw the BTTS option “come in”.
Sturm changed their squad significantly compared to the last season and it’s really hard to figure their capabilities at this stage. The lone serious friendly they’ve played saw the 0-1 loss to Russian Krasnodar.
We can hardly imagine a scenario in which the Austrians would make an upset in Amsterdam as the home win looks like a banker. Nevertheless, we’ll back the amazing streak of eight consecutive BTTS games in the Champions League for de Godenzonen to be continued here as well.
The main bet is Ajax to win & BTTS at the odds of 3.20, while you can also grab 1.75 odds offered for three or more goals in the match.
Ajax vs Sturm Graz: Bet Tips
Ajax to win & BTTS @ 3.20
Over 2.5 goals FT @ 1.75.