Ajax vs Dinamo Kiev – Jol banking on strikers to fire Ajax through
Martin Jol is hoping that new strike pairing Luis Suarez and Mounir El Hamdaoui will prove the difference in firing Ajax into the group stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2006.
Jol watched his team grind out a 1-1 draw in the first leg in the Ukraine against Dinamo Kiev and they are hoping to benefit from home advantage to seal their progression in the second leg.
They warmed up for the important clash at the Amsterdam Arena with a 3-0 domestic victory over Roda JC, with summer signing from AZ Alkmaar El Hamdaoui netting twice and Suarez grabbing the other.
Yet despite odds of 4/5 to beat Kiev in the second leg, Ajax have not made their home the fortress that it could be in Europe in recent years.
They lost to Copenhagen and Slavia Prague during the qualifying rounds of the Champions League in 2007 and 2008 respectively, while being held to a 1-1 draw by PAOK FC in the second qualifying round this year, before eventually progressing on away goals.
Ajax also go into the second leg without the suspended Vurnon Anita and injured trio Kenneth Vermeer, Rasmus Lindgren and Nicolas Lodeiro.
Kiev won 3-1 in the away leg of their second qualifying round clash with Belgian side Gent and in Andriy Shevchenko they have a player with a previous track record of scoring against Ajax.
He netted in two previous victories over the Dutch giants when playing for previous club AC Milan and is 7/1 to be the first goalscorer in the second leg.
A repeat of the 1-1 from the first leg which would take the tie into extra time is 5/1. See the whole correct score market.