Ajax v Juventus preview: all you need to know

The 1996 final is replayed in Amsterdam on Wednesday as Ajax welcome Juventus for their first leg.

André Onana (left) is hoping to deny Juventus their wish of an away goal
André Onana (left) is hoping to deny Juventus their wish of an away goal ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Ten Hag: Juve are "another big obstacle" for Ajax
  • Allegri targets away goals
  • Juve beat Ajax on pens after 1-1 draw in 1996 final
  • Visitors unbeaten in last ten v Ajax
  • Return on 16 April; winners play City/Spurs in semis

Reporter's view (Derek Brookman, UEFA.com): Back on top of their league, through to the Dutch Cup final and facing a first UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 16 years, Ajax are flying. Two group-stage draws with Bayern, followed by a humbling of holders Real Madrid in the last 16 prove that this bold, attack-minded side need fear no one. Ajax have hit 29 goals in this UEFA Champions League campaign (qualifying included), so expect them to take the game to Juventus.

Possible line-ups

Highlights: Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax
Highlights: Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax

Ajax: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Van de Beek, Schöne, De Jong; Ziyech, Tadić, Neres
Out: Bandé (calf), Mazraoui (suspended)
Misses next game if booked: Blind, De Ligt, Tagliafico, Van de Beek

Juventus: Szczęsny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Betancur, Pjanić, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Mandžukić, Ronaldo
Out: Cáceres (thigh), Can (ankle), Chiellini (calf)
Doubtful: Barzagli (calf), Douglas Costa (thigh), Perin (shoulder), Ronaldo (thigh)
Misses next game if booked: Bernardeschi, Matuidi

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Key battle

Cristiano Ronaldo v Matthijs de Ligt: Youth versus exerience as Ronaldo, 34, comes up against a man 15 years his junior. De Ligt, though, started early and shouldn't be daunted: the Dutch youngster has done it before. Just over 12 months ago, in only his fifth international outing, he helped keep Ronaldo at bay in a 3-0 friendly win for the Netherlands against Portugal. Of course, Atlético's vaunted back line had previous too, but they were powerless in the last 16.

Where to watch

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

Highlights: Juventus 3-0 Atlético
Highlights: Juventus 3-0 Atlético

Form guide

Ajax
Last game: Willem II 1-4 Ajax (Saturday)
Form: WWWLWWWWWW

  • Ajax's weekend victory took them back to the top of the Eredivisie and they have now reached exactly 100 league goals for the season.

Juventus
Last game: Juventus 2-1 AC Milan (Saturday)
Form: WWWLWWWWLW

  • Teenage Juventus forward Moise Kean scored in his fifth consecutive game for club and country as the Bianconeri came from behind to see off Milan.
1996 final flashback
1996 final flashback

Erik ten Hag, Ajax coach

We must play our way against Juve. The most important thing is the result. Juve are an experienced team and they can put different strategies into play. It will be another big obstacle to overcome after Bayern and Real Madrid.

We have a good midfield, we manage possession well, but when we don't have the ball we have to be good at recovering it as soon as possible.

Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach

Ajax are a strong team who eliminated Real Madrid, who played on a par with Bayern and who have technique. We need to be sharp, clinical and lively, because I expect an open game and it's very unlikely to end 0-0.

It's by no means easy to beat Atleti 3-0, as they defend so well, but we cannot think that we can do that again here. We have to lay the foundations to qualify and score away goals.

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