Champions League Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Ajax

Borussia Dortmund are set to host Dutch giants Ajax at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday in the fourth round of the UEFA Champions League group stage. The home side were humbled 4-0 by the visitors last time around and they would be looking to respond to their defeat. Can Dortmund overcome Ajax at home?

Following their defeat at the hands of Ajax, Dortmund have secured three back-to-back victories in all competitions. They are placed second in the Bundesliga, one point behind leaders Bayern Munich, with eight wins and two losses in 10 games. Dortmund are also second in Group C, three points behind Ajax. In their previous loss to Ajax, Dortmund were vulnerable at the back, although they seem to have responded well, conceding just one goal in their previous three matches across all competitions.

Thorgan Hazard has been in brilliant form for Dortmund in previous fixtures, scoring three goals in the last two matches. Marco Rose’s side will take on Leipzig next in the Bundesliga, and they would be looking to build confidence with a win over Ajax. Dortmund have been plagued by multiple injuries in recent weeks, with star forward Erling Haaland unavailable for the match, while Schulz, Guerreiro and Morey are all sidelined as well. Reina, Dahoud, Schmelzer and Zadadou, are all doubtful to make an appearance.

Champions League Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Ajax

In their previous game against Ajax, Dortmund were dominated in terms of multiple attacking metrics. Ajax took twice the number of shots as Dortmund. Marco Reus scored an own goal early in the first half. Soon after, Daley Blind added another to give his side a 2-0 advantage at the break. The second half followed a similar suit, as Ajax exposed Dortmund defensively. Antony added another in the 56th minute and Haller capped off the win with a strike of his own. The latter also had the highest xG in the match. Erling Haaland was one of the few bright sparks for Dortmund as he took the joint highest number of shots and won the highest number of aerial duels.

Champions League Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Ajax

Although they were dominated in the previous match in the Champions League, Dortmund are at the top in terms of successful defensive duels and successful defensive duels per 90.

Ajax have been on an inspiring run of form, both in the Eredivisie as well as in the Champions League. They are at the top of the Eredivisie table with eight wins, two draws, and one loss from 11 games, while they also lead the Group C table in the Champions League with nine points. To add to their form, Ajax have been scoring plenty of goals across all competitions. Recently, they produced a remarkable display against their Eredivisie rivals PSV, dismantling them 5-0. A win at the Signal Iduna Park for Ajax means qualification for the next round of the Champions League. Stekelenburg and Onana are both sidelined for the match against Ajax, while Mazraoui and Labyad are also doubtful to appear. Sebastien Haller will lead the attack and would be looking to continue his remarkable goal-scoring form for his side.

Champions League Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Ajax

Ajax took a total of 20 shots in their previous game against Dortmund with nine shots on target. They have an impressive shot accuracy of 45%, while their xG was similarly high. Ajax took plenty of shots from inside and outside the opposition box.

Champions League Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Ajax

Ajax are second in terms of touches in the penalty box, while they also average 31.48 touches per match. This indicates that they have been able to penetrate the opposition defense quite frequently.

Predicted Eleven

Dortmund (3-4-2-1) – Kobel; Can, Hummels Akanji; Meunier, Bellingham, Witsel, Wolf; Reus, Brandt; Hazard.

Ajax (4-2-3-1) – Pasveer; Rensch, Timber, Martinez, Blind; Alvarez, Gravenberch; Antony, Berghuis, Tadic; Haller.

Prediction

Ajax will go into the match with the upper hand, although Dortmund could provide them a tough test in front of the home crowd. Ajax are likely to edge this one out.