Champions League Preview: Madrid vs Ajax….

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Venue: Santiago Bernabeu

Date: 5th March, 2019.

Time: 21:00 (Nigeria time)

·          After a 2-1 first leg success in Amsterdam, Real Madrid are closing in on a ninth straight Champions League (CL) quarter final. The omens are good for Madrid as they have won their last five home matches against Dutch opposition, although the last side to beat them at the Santiago Bernabéu was Ajax in 1995.
·          Despite this, the pressure is on manager Santiago Solari as his side have lost their previous three home games across all competitions for the first time under his stewardship. They conceded six goals in those three matches, with five of those goals coming in the second half.
·          Ajax put in a valiant display in the first leg and were unlucky to lose, yet they now remain without a win in their last seven CL knockout fixtures (D2, L5). However, since that defeat to Madrid, the visitors have won their previous three matches across all competitions, conceding just one goal and scoring an impressive 13.
·          Ajax have won just four of their previous 13 matches against Madrid (W4, D1, L8), losing all of the previous seven head to head matches, and scoring one goal or less.
·          Players to watchKarim Benzema has four goals and two assists in this season’s CL, including a goal against Ajax in the first leg. Hakim Ziyech’s first goal in this season’s CL came against Madrid in the first leg, although he has had 14 attempts on goal in the competition – the third highest of any player.

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