Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Ajax have been playing above expectations in the 2018/2019 Champions League campaign. After rolling over AEK Athens in their opener, the Amsterdammers did well to hold star-studded Bayern Munchen to a 1-1 draw at Allianz Arena in their second group game. The Dutch side aim to retain top position in the standings, but Tuesday’s football match against Benfica will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. The Eagles aim to build on a 3-2 win over AEK Athens, but seeing that Ajax are a real force to be reckoned with at home, we predict that the two sides are going to play out a draw at Johan Cruijff Arena. Ajax and Benfica meet for the first time ever in European competitions and, taking everything into account, we believe that there is a big value in betting on draw.
Highlighted Player (Matthijs de Ligt):
Matthijs de Ligt is yet another product of famous Ajax football academy. After making 17 appearances for Jong Ajax, Matthijs de Ligt started playing for the senior team in 2016. The talented centre-back, who was born on August 12, 1999 in Leiderdorp (Netherlands) made his debut for the Amsterdammers on September 21, 2016 in a cup game against Willem II. Thanks to this goal Matthijs de Ligt became the second youngest goalscorer ever, behind legendary midfielder Clarence Seedorf.
In March, 2017, the Ajax defender made his debut for the Netherlands national team in a 2-0 loss to Bulgaria in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. In 2018 he received AFC Ajax Talent of the Year award (Marco Van Basten Award). Mathiijs de Ligt’s main position is centre-back and his preferred foot is right. His contract with the Amsterdammers should expire on June 30, 2021.
In the 2016/2017 season Matthijs de Ligt and his teammates made it to the Europa League final, but Ajax were beaten by Manchester United in the title game.
Highlighted Team (Benfica):
Member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in Portugal alongside FC Porto and CP Sporting, Sport Lisboa e Benfica are the football club that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga. The club is nicknamed Aguias because of the Eagle symbol atop the club’s crest. Benfica play their home games at the Estadio da Luz which replaced the original one in 2003 and which boasts the capacity of more than 64,000. Arguably the most successful club in Portugal, Benfica have won a record of 35 Primeira Liga titles and also a record 25 Taca de Liga and 7 Taca da Liga trophies.
Two-time European Cup winners, Benfica are the club known for their diligent work with youth players, many of which went on to make great careers abroad. The most prominent players to wear a Benfica shirt are legendary Eusebio, Manuel Bento, Jorge Tavares and most recently Javier Saviola, Nuno Gomes, David Luiz and Angel Di Maria.