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Lille vs Ajax: Predictions
Lille will be hoping they can continue their impressive league form which has earned them the top spot in Ligue 1. The French side have proven hard to break down defensively having not conceded a goal in 540 minutes of football.
The Ligue 1 leaders will face a tough challenge against the Eredivisie leaders in Ajax who travel to France with an eight-game winning run under their belts. However, the Dutch side will be without goalkeeper André Onana after the Cameroon international was handed a one-year ban following a failed drug test.
Christophe Galtier’s Lille has only lost twice in the league this season but were held off from earning the top spot in their Europa League group by AC Milan. An impressive 3-0 win away to Milan demonstrated the capability of the French sides and will provide them with confidence going into Thursday’s game against the Champions League dropouts.
Ajax will also be without their January signing Sebastien Haller after an administrative error meant the Ivory Coast-international was not registered for their Europa League squad. The striker has already netted three times since arriving in Holland and provided his teammates with five assists.
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Lille vs Ajax: Match Stats
Yazici has proven a threat on goal from any area in the Europa League this season with half of his shots coming from outside of the penalty area.
Yusuf Yazici is the Europa League’s joint-top scorer alongside Benfica’s Pizzi on six goals each. The Turkish attacking midfielder spearheaded Lille’s charge into the Round of 32 with their next top scorer Jonathan Ikoné having only netted three times. With Onana out of action, Lille will be looking to take an advantage over to Holland for the second-leg and Yazici is likely to be at the heart of any goals scored.
Lille’s incredible defensive run will prove difficult for Ajax to break and without their main man upfront in Haller, it could prove a tough ask for Ajax to take any away goals back to Amsterdam for the second-leg.
27 November 2019 – Lille 0-2 Ajax – Champions League
17 September 2019 – Ajax 3-0 Lille – Champions League
The last time these two sides met was in the 2019/20 Champions League which saw the Dutch side dominate in both group stage games. Ajax are suffering from key absentees this time around and face a Lille side which is in better form in comparison to what they were when the two sides met back in 2019.