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Ajax vs Roma – Europa League Preview, Team News & Predicted Line-ups

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Ajax and Roma are set to face-off at the Johan Cruijff Arena for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday night.

Although both sides boast extensive European experience, they have only been paired together once before, with Roma winning none of their two encounters in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League group stage (D1, L1).

Ajax have not lost a single competitive match since a 2-1 defeat to Atalanta in the final Champions League group stage outing (W21, D3).

Meanwhile, the visitors have conceded precisely twice in three of their last four matches in all competitions, losing two of them (W1, D1).

Ajax Preview

Having moved across from the Champions League for the second year running, Ajax are playing in the Europa League quarter-finals for the first time since finishing runners-up in 2016/17.

The Lancers ousted Lille in the competition’s last-32, winning both legs by the identical 2-1 scoreline, before dispatching Young Boys 5-0 on aggregate in the previous knock-out round (3-0 H, 2-0 A).

Johan Cruijff Arena has been a stronghold for European visitors, with Erik ten Hag’s men winning each of their last ten UEFA matches held at this venue.

Ajax are just a win away from matching Sevilla’s record in the competition for 11 consecutive Europa League victories at home.

Additionally, the Eredivisie giants have racked up nine straight home triumphs in the competition’s knock-out stage games and are unbeaten in 15 Europa League matches in Amsterdam overall (W12, D3).

Roma Preview

Roma qualified for the Europa League knock-outs as Group A winners, having avoided defeat in their opening five group-stage fixtures (W4, D1) before going down 3-1 to CSKA Sofia on Matchday 6.

The Giallorossi saw off Sporting Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous two knock-out rounds, winning all four matches in the process.

A 2-0 win at Braga in the round of 32 brought the Italians’ seven-match winless streak in knock-out away games across major European competitions to a halt (D1, L6).

Given Roma’s footballing stature, it may come as some surprise that they have qualified for the Europa League quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history.

Their overall European record against Dutch opponents is perfectly balanced (GP6 – W2, D2, L2), albeit they have lost two of their three visits to the Netherlands (W1).

Team News

Ajax

Out: Andre Onana, Daley Blind, Sebastien Haller.

Doubts: Noussair Mazraoui.

Roma

Out: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marash Kumbulla, Nicolo Zaniolo, Chris Smalling, Rick Karsdorp.

Doubts: Stephan El Shaarawy.

Predicted Line-ups

Ajax (4-2-3-1): Maarten Stekelenburg; Nicolas Tagliafico, Lisandro Martinez, Edson Alvarez, Jurrien Timber; Devyne Rensch, Ryan Gravenberch; Davy Klaassen, David Neres, Antony; Dusan Tadic.

Roma (3-4-3): Pau Lopez; Ibanez, Bryan Cristante, Gianluca Mancini; Leonardo Spinazzola, Amadou Diawara, Jordan Veretout, Bruno Peres; Carles Perez, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Borja Mayoral.