Champions League Preview: Ajax vs Sporting CP

Ajax are set to host Sporting in the UEFA Champions League group stage fixture on Tuesday. The home side come into this game on the back of a huge win in the Eredivisie while the away side secured a victory in Primeira Liga. Can Ajax continue their impressive run?

Ajax have been in inspiring form all season. They are at the top of the Eredivisie table, two points above rivals PSV with 11 wins, three draws, and one loss in 15 games. Ajax top the league both in terms of offensive and defensive record. They have scored 48 goals and conceded just two. The Dutch giants have replicated their Eredivisie form in the Champions League as well. They are through to the knockout round of the Champions League with one game to spare. Ajax lead the Group C table, having won all five of their fixtures and conceding just three goals along the way. Sebastien Haller has been in brilliant goal-scoring form for Ajax this season, having scored the joint-highest nine goals in the Champions League. Sean Klaiber is set to miss out on the match, while Stekelenburg and Mohammed Kudus are sidelined as well. There are no new injury issues for Erik Ten Hag.

Champions League Preview: Ajax vs Sporting CP

In the previous group stage match, Ajax came out on top against Beşiktaş. They came from behind to secure the win through a double from Sebastien Haller in the second half. They were dominant in multiple attacking metrics throughout the match. Ajax’s xG of 2.82 surpassed that of their opponents’, 1.58. Haller had the highest xG in the match, followed by Ghezzal. Daramy took the highest number of shots, and made the highest number of dribbles. Martinez made 13 passes to the final third.

Champions League Preview: Ajax vs Sporting CP

Ajax have scored the third-highest number of goals so far in the Champions League. Their goal scoring is only bettered by Manchester City and Bayern Munich. Ajax also average an impressive 3.03 goals per match.

Sporting are on an impressive run of form in the Primeira Liga. In their previous match in the league, they secured a 3-1 win over rivals Benfica and are level on points with leaders Porto. Sporting’s inspiring form is highlighted by the fact that they haven’t drawn or lost a single fixture since September across all competitions. They are undefeated in the Primeira Liga along with Porto. Sporting have also got back on track in the Champions League, after losing the opening two games in the group stage. They are placed second in the group stage behind leaders Ajax, winning two and losing three matches. Joao Palhinha, Ruben Vinagre, and Jovane Cabral will all remain unavailable for the match. Defender Sebastian Coates is doubtful to appear as well.

Champions League Preview: Ajax vs Sporting CP

In their previous game in the Champions League, Sporting secured a brilliant 3-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund. Pedro Goncalves scored a brace in the first half, following which Pedro Porro added another. Dortmund got the consolation goal of the match through Malen in the injury time. Sporting had a higher xG than Dortmund, and Goncalves had the highest xG in the match.

Champions League Preview: Ajax vs Sporting CP

In terms of expected goals, Sporting are placed at a decent 11th spot, and they average more than one expected goal per match in the Champions League as well.

Predicted XI

Ajax (4-3-3): Pasveer; Mazraoui, Timber, Martinez, Blind; Klaassen, Alvarez, Gravenberch; Berghuis, Haller, Tadic.

Sporting (3-4-3): Adan; Neto, Inacio, Feddal; Porro, Braganca, Ugarte, Reis; Goncalves, Paulinho, Sarabia.

Prediction

Ajax have been in brilliant form across all competitions this season, and are heavy favorites to win this match.