Our prediction for this Europa League match:
There will be fireworks when Lille and Ajax face each other at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in the Europa League last 32, first leg. Despite having their ups and downs in the group stages, les Dogues eventually booked their place in the last 32 where they face an uphill task in the double-header against the Amsterdammers. Lille managed to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous five league fixtures, and they are likely to rely on their rock-solid defence in Thursday’s clash.
Ajax, on the other hand, are on an eight-game winning run in all competitions ahead of the trip to France. The Dutch champions aim to get their job done in the first leg, but beating Lille on the road is easier said than done. A close encounter is on the horizon, and we believe that punters can find value in betting on draw. Key attacker Haller has been left out of Ajax’s Europa League squad, while first-choice goalkeeper Onana remains in the recovery room.
Highlighted Player (Jonathan Bamba):
After spending his youth career at CS Paris-Charenton, UJA AlfortVille and Saint-Etienne, Jonathan Bamba started playing for Saint-Etienne II at senior level. In 2015 he was given a chance to prove his worth with the first team and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 42 appearances for les Verts in Ligue 1.
Following his loan spells with Paris, Sint-Truiden and Angers, Jonathan Bamba joined Lille in the summer of 2018. The pacey winger born in Alfortville (France) on March 26, 1996, has been playing for les Dogues ever since, but he has yet to earn a cap for the French national team. Nonetheless, Jonathan Bamba has 12 caps with France U21 in which he scored four goals for les Tricolores.
Jonathan Bamba’s main position is left winger, but he is used as a centre-forward as well. The French footballer, whose preferred foot is right, has a contract with Lille until June 30, 2023.
Highlighted Team (Ajax):
Ajax is a Dutch football club that was founded on 18 March, 1900. Ajax are well known for their youth academy, which regarded as one of the best youth football schools in the world. The likes of Johan Cruijff, Edwin van der Sar, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, Rafael van der Vaart and Marco van Basten are all products of Ajax’s football academy. The Amsterdammers share a big rivalry with Feyenoord and there have always been fireworks when the two teams face each other in De Klassieker.
During the seventies Feyenoord and Ajax were the only two teams who were capable of winning the domestic trophies, while PSV have been playing an important role in Dutch football in the 21st century. PSV and Ajax are regarded as big rivals as well and the two teams square off against each other in De Topper. Ajax play their home games at Amsterdam ArenA, the stadium that was opened on 14 August, 1996. The Amsterdammers won their fourth European Cup (Champions League) trophy in 1995, beating Milan in the title game in Vienna.