The UEFA Europa League returns to the fold with an intriguing round-of-32 clash this week as Dutch champions Ajax take on Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Thursday. Both teams have been excellent this season and will want to win this game.
Ajax have been the best team in the Netherlands yet again this season and are the favourites to win the Eredivisie title. The Dutch giants eased past local opponents Heracles over the weekend and will be confident ahead of this fixture.
Lille have exceeded expectations this season and are currently engaged in a battle with Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon for the Ligue 1 crown. The French outfit played out a 0-0 stalemate over the weekend and will need to take it up a notch in the Europa League on Thursday.
Lille vs Ajax Head-to-Head
Ajax have a flawless record against Lille as far as official European fixtures are concerned and have won both matches played between the two teams. Lille have never scored a goal against Ajax on the European front and will need to be at their best in this game.
The previous meetings between the two teams took place in the UEFA Champions League in 2019 and ended in comfortable 2-0 and 3-0 victories for Ajax. Lille have improved over the past year and have a point to prove in this match.
Lille form guide: D-W-W-W-W
Ajax form guide: W-W-W-W-W
Lille vs Ajax Team News
Lille forward Burak Yilmaz is currently injured and will be replaced by Jonathan David against Ajax this week. Jeremy Pied has recovered from his injury and will be included in the squad.
Injured: Burak Yilmaz
Andre Onana has been slapped with a ban and is currently unavailable for selection. Ajax have several impressive players in their ranks and will want to find the back of the net against Lille.
Suspended: Andre Onana
Lille vs Ajax Predicted XI
Lille Predicted XI (4-4-2): Mike Maignan; Reinildo, Jose Fonte, Sven Botman, Mehmet Zeki Celik; Luiz Araujo, Benjamin Andre, Renato Sanches, Jonathan Bamba; Yusuf Yazici, Jonathan David
Ajax Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Maarten Stekelenburg; Nicolas Tagliafico, Daley Blind, Perr Schuurs, Noussair Mazraoui; Edson Alvares, Ryan Gravenberch; Antony, Davy Klaassen, Dusan Tadic; Sebastian Haller
Lille vs Ajax Prediction
Lille have been in stunning form this season and will be intent on winning silverware this season. The French side has impressive players in its ranks and can trouble Ajax in this game.
Ajax have plenty of European experience, however, and their cutting edge under Erik ten Hag has often made them an irresistible force. Lille are sure to give the Dutch giants a run for their money but will have to be wary against a team that can be unstoppable on its day.
Prediction: Lille 1-2 Ajax