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Does Ajax have what it takes to knock Juventus out of the UEFA Champions League?

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705   //    13 Apr 2019, 15:30 IST

Ajax plays much better as a team, probably the best in Europe
Ajax plays much better as a team, probably the best in Europe

Ajax is arguably technically superior, mightily confident, and fearless - but it requires much more to eliminate a team like Juventus from the Champions League.

The first leg was dominated by the Dutch club, who tormented the midfield of Juventus. Ajax plays much better as a team, probably the best in Europe, but sometimes individual brilliance can be enough to see off a team effort.

Frenkie De Jong was spectacular against Juventus in the first leg. He was the heart of the team, involved in every attack. When Allegri attempted to man mark him with the defence, he dropped deeper and continued the same, tormenting the forwards. And there is absolutely no reason he can't carry this form to Turin.

Matthijs De Ligt has lit up the footballing world with his exquisite defending, and there is no doubt about his abilities. David Neres too has scored some outstanding goals, not to mention Tadic and Ziyech.

But Juventus have the all-important away goal, which has decided so many games in this year's UCL. That means that Ajax MUST score to have any chance of qualifying. Ajax has done it against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, in fact coming off a first leg loss on that occasion.

But Juventus is a totally different beast, and so is Cristiano Ronaldo. Juventus have the one thing that Ajax don't - experience, and they know how to salvage wins even from bad games.

It's certainly not impossible, oh don't rule them out. But they will have to play out of their skins because there is a difference between a defused Madrid and a charged Juventus.

There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo can swing the momentum alone, and Ten Hag will have a tough task in balancing the defence and attack. Give Ronaldo a few inches of space and he can find much more space around the goalkeeper.

Have they put themselves in pole position? No.

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They could have scored 2 more if they made the best of their chances, and that would be pole position. They need to start spreading their game and play wider, just to expose the defence of Juventus a little more.

Ajax has nothing to lose and will come out all guns blazing, so expect a cracker of a contest. Ajax definitely does possess the quality to pull off a massive upset, and it would be a dream for many neutral viewers to see this young side progress past Juventus.

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