Spanish champions Barcelona will be looking to cement their place at the top of Group H with a victory over Ajax at Amsterdam Arena.
Nonetheless, the Amsterdammers will be also very motivated to record a good result, which could help them book their place in the knock-out phase of the competition.
Thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Celtic in the last round, Ajax have regained their chance of making it into the next phase of the Champions League. However, the Amsterdammers face an uphill task this Tuesday as they welcome one of the world’s best sides Barcelona at their Amsterdam Arena. The Dutch team were trashed 4-0 at Camp Nou, but it is well known that Ajax produce much better showings in front of home fans. At the weekend Frank de Boer’s men defeated Heracles 3-0 on home soil, but this victory did not help the team climb to top position in Eredivisie standings. The team’s top scorer Kolbeinn Sigthorsson suffered an injury during Iceland’s two-legged tie with Croatia and he could miss the Barcelona game. In his absence Hoesen scored a goal against Heracles, but Barca will surely pose a much bigger threat for the hosts than their previous rivals.
Barcelona have made a flying start to the new season in both, Primera Division and the Champions League. After a routine 4-0 victory over Granada at the weekend, Barca are leading La Liga standings with 40 points, six clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid. The Catalans have also been impressive in the Champions League group stage, with the Spanish side beating Ajax 4-0, Celtic 1-0 and Milan 3-1 to date, while sharing the spoils with Rossoneri at San Siro 1-1. Gerardo Martino’s men are already through to the next phase and they arrive at Amsterdam Arena without key player Leo Messi, who is still sidelined with injury. However, even without the Argentine magician in the starting line-up, Barca have been producing scintillating displays and there is no doubt that the visitors are huge favourites to win this clash, with the likes of Neymar, Pedro and Sanchez up front. The two teams have never met before in Holland and I believe that the Spanish champions are likely to prove their worth on Tuesday night with yet another routine triumph.