Wednesday 26 Jul

OGC Nice vs Ajax Match Preview

24 Jul 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Champions League, Qualification
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Champions League, Qualification

OGC Nice

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

vs

Kick-off
18:45 GMT
26 July 2017

Ajax Amsterdam

  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Kick-off
18:45 GMT 26 July 2017

As European football gets ready to return for the 2017/18 season after a summer break, some of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League group stage places still need to be decided. With the third qualifying round coming this week, the biggest of the ties is between Ajax and Nice. Ajax finished second in the Eredivisie last season while Nice were one of Europe’s surprise packages and came third in Ligue 1 behind Monaco and PSG. Both sides have joined at this stage of qualifying.

STATS

  • Nice’s brilliant form in the league ran out of steam towards the end and they struggled in their last five games as they only picked up one win. But qualification for the Champions League was still much better than anything they could have expected and they eventually qualified with nine points separating themselves and Lyon, who played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with them in the final game of the season.
  • As Ajax reached the Europa League final (and lost) last season, they tried to juggle life in the league as well. They didn’t do too bad with four wins in their last five games but a 1-0 loss to eventual champions Feyenoord meant they lost out on the title. With the chance to win the league on the final day they didn’t disappoint with a 3-1 over Willem but as their rivals also won, they finished second.
  • One of football’s most controversial players was Nice’s leading goal scorer last term. Mario Balotelli had a great season and scored 15 goals, only four players in the league managed more.
  • Of the most notable aspects of Ajax’s season was their very young side. The best of these youngsters was Kasper Dolberg as the 19-year-old scored 16 goals in the league.

HEAD TO HEAD

This will be the very first meeting between the two sides and with it being a two-legged tie, both sides will be desperate to get off to a good start in the first leg. The last time Ajax faced a French team was last season as they knocked Lyon out at the semi-final stage of the Europa League. Nice won and drew against Lyon last season.

NICE NEWS

It is vital for Nice to take a good result into the second leg of this tie especially with them having the home advantage. They will need a strong team performance and with just Alassane Plea and Wylan Cyprien out through injury, they should have the quality to cover those empty positions in the squad.

Latest matches: OGC Nice

20.07.2017 Club Monchengladbach OGC Nice 1:2 W
16.07.2017 Club SK Slavia Prague OGC Nice 4:1 L
13.07.2017 Club KAA Gent OGC Nice 2:3 W
07.07.2017 Club Servette Geneva FC OGC Nice 1:3 W
01.07.2017 Club FC Stade Nyonnais OGC Nice 0:4 W

AJAX NEWS

Ajax will need to avoid defeat in this first leg to have the best chance of progression to the group stage. And they have a great chance of doing just that with a fully available squad for the clash.

Latest matches: Ajax Amsterdam

18.07.2017 Club Olympique Lyon Ajax Amsterdam 2:0 L
24.05.2017 UEFA Ajax Amsterdam Manchester United 0:2 L
14.05.2017 Ered Willem II Tilburg Ajax Amsterdam 1:3 W
11.05.2017 UEFA Olympique Lyon Ajax Amsterdam 3:1 L
07.05.2017 Ered Ajax Amsterdam Go Ahead Eagles 4:0 W

SUMMARY

There’s no doubt that this will be a very close tie and both legs will be very tight affairs. However, the slight advantage must be given to Nice due to the home advantage of the first leg; no serious absences also contribute to the French side being favourites. However it is too close to choose a favourite for the tie as a whole, it should be Nice who will take a slight advantage into the second leg.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

Share your opinion about this preview by leaving a comment below.

Follow us

LOGIN TO TIPSTERPORTAL


Login or

Welcome To TipstersPortal

Continue

By joining I agree to receive emails from TipstersPortal.

or

Join TipstersPortal

Are you a Tipster?

Register Now

By signing up, I agree to TipstersPortal General Terms of Service, Tipster Terms and Privacy Policy.
By joining I agree to receive emails from TipstersPortal.

RESET PASSWORD

Reset Password

HEY, YOU'RE ALMOST DONE!


Finish Registration