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Europa League

Ajax v Brighton – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Ajax host Brighton at the Johan Cruijff Arena on Thursday night in the Europa League.

Ajax v Brighton

Ajax host Brighton at the Johan Cruijff Arena on Thursday night in the Europa League. Neither of these sides currently sit in the qualifying places in Group B and need a victory in Amsterdam. The Seagulls cruised to a victory over AFC Ajax two weeks ago and will hope for three points in this one.

Ajax Form

So far, this season has been terrible for the biggest club in the Netherlands. Coach Maurice Steijn oversaw a poor start in the Eredivisie with just one win in seven matches and that victory came on the opening day. Ajax drew their opening two Europa League matches too, throwing away leads in a 3-3 home draw with Marseille and a 1-1 draw at AEK Athens.

A fourth straight league loss, 4-3 at Utrecht, finally saw the coach sacked and assistant Hedwiges Maduro put in temporary charge. His two matches at the helm saw a 2-0 loss at Brighton and a 5-2 humiliation at PSV. John van’t Schip’s arrival as the caretaker coach has seen an immediate impact with two victories: 2-0 vs Volendam and 4-1 versus Heerenveen, both at home.

Ajax Team News

Coach Van’t Schip has a doubt over midfielder Branco van den Boomen but he should be fit to play. Fellow midfielder Sivert Heggheim Mannsverk remains a serious doubt after missing several weeks of action. First-choice goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli is ruled out so Diant Ramaj will play.

Young centre-back Ahmetcan Kaplan is an absentee whilst Chuba Akpom is hoping his brace against Heerenveen from the bench will lead to him starting up front. However, Brian Brobbey has scored in two of their last three matches and is more likely to keep his spot.

Ajax Motivation

Ajax need a win and they’ve looked much more attacking under the new coach. His first match in charge saw 30 shots attempted and the weekend win saw seven ‘big chances’ created.

A draw would not be much help towards qualification and the Dutch giants won’t settle for one at any point.

Brighton Form

The Seagulls have had a major dip of late, largely due to injuries. Their last eight fixtures have seen just one win and they’ve drawn four of their last six in all competitions. That comes on the back of winning five of their first six league matches this season with 17 goals netted in those victories. They’ve since struggled to stop conceding goals.

After being thrashed 6-1 away to Aston Villa, they drew 2-2 at Marseille in the Europa League from 2-0 down and then drew 2-2 at home with Liverpool. After a poor first half with only one shot, they were beaten 2-1 at Man City before a relative cruise to beat Ajax 2-0 in the reverse fixture at home. The last two fixtures have seen a 1-1 draw in the league at home to Fulham and away at Everton.

Brighton Team News

Roberto De Zerbi is without Julio Enciso and Solly March due to longer-term injuries. Left-back Pervis Estupinan is a big loss with no natural cover and two possible deputies in March and Tariq Lamptey are both absent. James Milner may again cover there or a back three with Igor on the left could be seen.

In attack, Danny Welbeck is ruled out and both Ansu Fati and Joao Pedro are hoping for recalls in place of Adam Lallana. Young midfielder Carlos Baleba is another who is pushing for a starting XI place in preference to Billy Gilmour.

Brighton Motivation

De Zerbi will attack, even on the road. Brighton needs a win, or they may not qualify from the group.

The starting XI could feature four attackers and the Seagulls won’t settle for a draw in this one.

Key Stats

Ajax have conceded 25 goals in their last 10 matches

Ajax have won their last 2 matches (winless in 10 matches before that)

Ajax are winless in 4 home matches in this competition (LDLD)

Brighton have conceded 14 goals in their last 7 matches

Brighton are winless in 5 away matches (LLDLD)

Brighton have scored 2 goals in each of their 3 Europa League matches


The Seagulls are now at their very best right now whilst the Dutch giants are slowly rebuilding confidence after a poor few month. The match should have goals and Brighton are tipped to score twice in Amsterdam and take the win.

Best Bet: Brighton win at 1.74
Alternative Bet: Both Teams to Score + Over 3.5 goals at 2.19
Value Bet: Brighton win (-1 handicap) at 2.65

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