After going so close to Europa League success last season, Ajax have a chance to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League this season. They have a very good, young team that is very exciting to watch and we all want to see more of them in action. Last week they travelled to Nice, a tough draw for them at this stage, but came away with a credible 1-1 draw against the French side.
That draw in Nice certainly gives Ajax the advantage in this one, especially with an away goal too, and I am expecting them to take full advantage of the situation and qualify from this tie. When the teams meet again on Wednesday evening, I think Ajax will win the game on the night and that will be enough for them to qualify.
Mario Balotelli is a wonderful player, but also one with an attitude about him. He was very good in the first leg, scoring for Nice and playing well, so Ajax will need to keep an eye on him in this game. However, Ajax have plenty of their own attacking flair, with the young trio of Justin Kluivert, Kasper Dolberg and Amin Younes creating a very exciting front three that will be fun to watch for years.
I don’t expect Nice to sit back here, so I think we will see a very open, attacking game of football with plenty of chances. That will suit Ajax and their young stars and I believe they have enough to beat Nice and continue their Champions League run. We all want to see more of Ajax after being hugely impressed by them last season and seeing them in the Champions League would make for great viewing for the neutrals.