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Champions League 2020/21 round of 16 tips: who will progress?

Rangers – Ajax Free Betting Tips

The excitement of participating in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage for the first time since 2010/11 did not last long for Rangers, as they were defeated in every game while conceding an average of almost four goals per game (3.8). The only way Rangers can secure their place in European competition next year is if they can overtake Ajax for third place, but to do so they must win by five goals or more.

The pressure has slowly been mounting on the shoulders of Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst after a couple of unconvincing performances domestically, specifically a 1-1 draw against Livingston that allowed Celtic to run away with top spot. While it seems inevitable, Rangers’ elimination from European competition could be more painful for the manager if they end up joining the list of just 22 clubs who have lost every game in a UCL group stage, a number that could rise further if Plzen also lose their Group C fixture.

While Ajax are not performing at the level of the remembered 2018/19 season after an exodus of players in every campaign since, they could take their participation in the knockout stage of the Europa League for granted thanks to a 4-0 win over Rangers in the previous meeting between the two in this tournament. Sitting fairly comfortably at the top of the Eredivisie table, Ajax could be forgiven for having their minds set on next weekend’s De Klassieker, with this clash being more of a formality than anything else.

Just once since 1964/95, and only five times in Ajax’s history, have they been beaten by five goals or more, demonstrating what a milestone such a defeat would be. However, Ajax have conceded at least three goals in three consecutive games in European competitions for the first time in history prior to this fixture, although their record of just three defeats in their last 24 away games in the UCL suggests they could bounce back (G11, E10).
Players to watch: Rangers’ Antonio Colak has already scored twice against Ajax’s Dutch rivals PSV this season, and four of the last five games in which he has found the back of the net have seen him score a brace. Although Ajax’s Mohamed Kudus rarely plays the full 90 minutes, he has an impressive record of nine goals in 17 appearances this season.
Weekend stat: Ajax are unbeaten in nine of their 13 all-time meetings with Scottish teams (G7, E2, P4).

OVER 2.5 GOALS Odds: 2.00
The odds presented in the prediction may vary at the time of verification.

Author: Daniel Morgan