After impressing in last season’s Europa League, Ajax start off this summer trying to make the Champions League. They have a tough fixture though, playing French side Nice who are more than capable of playing at this level.
Ajax are a young side, they are developing together and have a great team spirit. They want to show that off on the biggest stage of all, so making the Champions League is where they want to be. They have the advantage of playing the second leg at home in this tie, and I believe they can take something away from Nice with them when the clubs meet on Wednesday.
One area Nice do have an advantage is because they have already played five friendlies this month, with Ajax playing their first game of the summer one week ago. That isn’t ideal for Ajax, although with a young, hungry line-up it doesn’t bother me as much as it would with other clubs. It also helps that they are away from home first, without the pressure of needing to win. If the game is tied with ten minutes to go, Ajax can sit back and protect that, knowing they are playing the second leg at home.
This is one of the ties of the round, with two very good clubs taking each other on. After seeing Ajax impress so much in the Europa League last season, I am hopeful that they can make it to the Champions League and put on a show for us.
They have the ability, and they also have the hunger to succeed, and because of that I really think they can find a way past Nice, starting off on Wednesday by taking something from the game back home to Holland with them.