UCL Preview- Ajax vs Besiktas

Champions League Group C action sees Turkish side Besiktas face off against Dutch giants Ajax at the Johan Cruijff Arena. Both the teams are placed at the top in their respective domestic leagues.

Ajax are in inspiring form right now. They are currently top of the Eredivisie with sixteen points from six matches and are yet to lose a game.

Erik Ten Hag’s men have scored 27 goals in the Eredivisie, with 16 goals in their previous three matches. And to add to all that they have conceded just one goal. Any doubts on whether they could replicate this free-scoring form in the Champions League were squashed when they battered Sporting Lisbon, 1-5 away in the opening fixture.

The former West Ham striker Sebastien Haller has been in brilliant form, leading the goal scoring chart in both Eredivisie as well as in the Champions League. His four goals against Sporting made him the first player to score four on his Champions League debut since former Ajax and AC Milan forward Marco Van Basten.

Ghanian Mohammed Kudus has returned after nursing a knee injury. Davy Klaassen is also doubtful due to a groin concern.

UCL Preview- Ajax vs Besiktas

Ajax’s goals and average goals per 90 puts them in the second spot in the Champions League behind last year’s finalists Manchester City.

UCL Preview- Ajax vs Besiktas

In their previous match in the Champions League, Ajax started the game creating a high threat, as displayed by their xT timeline. Their opponent did try to mount a comeback in the second half but ultimately Ajax ensured that they took home all the points. Ajax’s xG timeline shows just how dominant they were during the entirety of the game.

The Turkish side Besiktas are currently top of the table in Super Lig and are unbeaten in their total six games. However, they have failed to reproduce a similar performance in their opening Champions League fixture against Dortmund.

Despite dominating possession and passes, first-half goals from Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham ensured that Dortmund came out with an Away victory. Besiktas however did grab a late consolation goal through Montero. Manager Sergen Yalcin has plenty of injury concern in the run-up to his side’s encounter against Ajax. Ghezzal and Souza both picked up a hamstring injury in their league match against Adana Demirspor.

UCL Preview- Ajax vs Besiktas

Besiktas’ successful forward passes puts them in the second spot in the Champions League while their successful forward passes per 90 puts them in third. This suggests that they are looking to play forward whenever the chance arises. In their previous Champions League encounter against Dortmund, they dominated the possession, 58% to their opponent’s 42%. In addition, they played 633 passes. Despite that they were unable to produce a comeback in the second half.

Ajax are in form right now and have been scoring in their previous matches. Sebastian Haller and Dusan Tadic are in brilliant form for the Dutch side. Besiktas’ injury crisis means that this will be an uphill battle for them. The home side looks a stronger side in this match.