On Wednesday, July 26, Ajax will take on a hunt for a place in the group stage of the Champions League against OGC Nice on Wednesday 26 July. There is a tough task in the south of France. Certainly because of all the emotions surrounding the situation with Nouri. Last season, Nice lost only once in the entire league at home. The team of coach Lucien Favre is a close team with one star; Mario Balotelli.
The situation around Nouri has caused a lot of commotion within Ajax. Many gathered at his home to support the Nouri family. The club felt compelled to cancel several practice games and therefore played only one serious game in the run-up to this important meeting. The French opponent Olympique Lyon proved to be 2-0 too strong and Ajax was not a shame by the team that showed Lyon all corners of the field at home last year. The trainer Marcel Keizer has the task of resetting his players and getting the focus entirely on the game.
The loss of captain Davy Klaassen mainly wants to compensate the club with its own youth. Frenkie de Jong and Donny van der Beek are eager to fill the vacancy in Amsterdam midfield. The gap left by Chelsea mercenary Bertrand Traoré must be filled by the purchase of David Neres last season. The Brazilian came over from São Paulo during the winter break for 12 million euros and has to prove this season that he is ready for a base place.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been brought back as stand-in for Kasper Dolberg. Whether The Hunter will have its sights on after skinny years at Schalke 04 has to be seen in the coming weeks. A goal in Nice would mean a flying start for the former international. An away goal in a European match would be worth gold for Ajax at all.
Balotelli, top striker in Nice
Nice was surprisingly third in the Ligue 1 last season, keeping behind renowned clubs such as Olympique Lyon and Olympique Marseille. The most striking name in the selection is that of bad-boy Mario Balotelli. The flamboyant Italian never managed to deliver on his promise as a top football player, but found his place in the southern French city. With fifteen goals, he crowned himself as club top scorer. His character sometimes gets in his way, but he seems to be relieved of his real bad boyhood. The task of Ajax defense is to curb him and start the fire. That task is corn on the mill of Davinson Sanchez.
Betting on OGC Nice – Ajax
Unibet: Ajax 3.30 Draw 3.20 OGC Nice 2.20
Kroon Casino: Ajax 2.95 Draw 3.20 OGC Nice 2.35
Mr Green: Ajax 3.30 Draw 3.20 OGC Nice 2.20