Ajax against Juventus
- What: UEFA Champions League quarter-final match
- When: Wednesday 10 April
- Where: Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam
- Kick-off: 20:00 (UK time)
- TV channel and live streaming: BT Sport 3 and sport.bt.com
Cristiano Ronaldo was named to the Juventus team and should return from the injury in the Champions League quarter-final outing against Ajax in Amsterdam.
The leading striker, the all-time record scorer of the Champions League, injured his thigh by playing for Portugal during the international break, but he got in shape to play Wednesday night.
In the round of 16, both Ajax and Juventus completed memorable comebacks to beat the Madrid clubs. After losing 2-1 at home against Real Madrid, Ajax reached the Bernabeu and won 4-1 in the night, 5-3 overall.
Juve lost 2-0 in the first leg of the round of 16 against the Atletico, but Ronaldo played with a hat-trick, while the Italians won 3-0 in Turin, 3-2 overall.
Ronaldo has not played for Juventus since his splendid performance against Atletico, but coach Massimiliano Allegri said the 34-year-old will leave at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam. Cited by the BBC, Allegri said: "Cristiano has trained with the team and is available".
Defender Daniele Rugani added: "Cristiano seems the same as ever. He is in good shape, a very important player for us, as everyone knows, and we are happy that he will be with us."
De Ligt against Ronaldo
The Uefa.com reporter, Derek Brookman, says the 19-year Ajax team defender Matthijs de Ligt will not feel intimidated by taking the five-time Champions League winner Ronaldo.
Brookman writes: "Youth against experience as Ronaldo, 34, meets a man of 15 years younger. De Ligt, however, left early and should not be discouraged: the young Dutchman has already done so.
"Just over 12 months ago, in his fifth international race, he helped keep Ronaldo at bay in the 3-0 win against the Netherlands against Portugal. Obviously the much-vaunted Atlético defense line had earlier, but they were powerless in the last 16 ".
What the coaches say
Erick ten Hag, Ajax: "We have to play against Juventus with our style. The most important thing is the result. We only think of the game against the Bianconeri. Juventus is an experienced team and can put different strategies into play. It will be another great obstacle to overcome after Bayern and Real: we will play as usual and we will have to be good at reading the game ".
Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus: "The Ajax is a strong team. They eliminated Real Madrid and played on a par with Bayern. As always, a game like Ajax-Juve is an important game. It will be an open game and we will have to be very focused. Ajax plays differently with the Atletico Madrid. I am a very aggressive team and it will be a physical match, we have to score an away goal. We are prepared for the Ajax-Juve focusing on our opponent's strengths. We will have to make their goal a lot. "
TV and live streaming details
The Johan Cruyff Arena game will be live on BT Sport 3. The broadcaster will also have a live stream for sports.bt.com subscribers.
When is the second stage?
The return match will be played at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on Tuesday 16th April (20:00, live on BT Sport).
Team news and possible starting XI
Ajax injury news
Uefa.com reports that the Dutch club will be deprived of the Moroccan right-back Noussair Mazraoui, who is suspended for the first leg. The Daily Express says its place could be filled by Joel Veltman or Rasmus Nissen Kristensen.
Hassane Bande and Carel Eiting are absent in the long term and will not be involved in the Ajax team, according to the London Evening Standard.
Frenkie de Jong, who will win Barcelona this summer, will start in midfield while striker Dusan Tadic hopes to add to his 30 goals scored this season.
News on Juventus injuries
While the Italian champions welcome Ronaldo, he has been hit twice. The BBC reports that defender Giorgio Chiellini is missing with a calf strain and midfielder Emre Can has an ankle problem.
Martín Cáceres is injured and Goal.com claims that Juan Cuadrado and Andrea Brazagli remain on the sidelines too.
Possible initial XI
How teams could take sides in Amsterdam, according to Uefa.com.
- Ajax can start XI: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Van de Beek, Schöne, De Jong; Ziyech, Tadic, Neres
- Juventus can start XI: Szczęsny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Betancur, Pjanić, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Mandžukić, Ronaldo
Forecasts: who will win the first stage?
Michael Owen, former England striker, Metro: "Juventus reached the quarter-finals for the third consecutive season, but I think it will also be an honor for the Johann Cruyff Arena. Ajax eliminated the holders of the Real Madrid in the last round, but lost the game at home before overturning the deficit in the Bernabeu, Cristiano Ronaldo scored seven goals in the Champions League against Ajax and I believe that Juve will score in Amsterdam in what promises to be an extremely fun draw. Predicted score: Ajax 1 Juventus 1. "
Charlie Nicolas, Sky Sports: "I'm not sure that Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit, he was rested over the weekend. If he doesn't start, it's a great opportunity for Ajax. Juventus is robust and like a physical contest while Ajax is creative and energetic "Dusan Tadic is the most experienced player in this team and he behaved well. Both teams will score and I think Ajax will cut it. Predicted score: Ajax 2 Juventus 1."
Joe Krishnan, London Evening Standard: "If an under-performing Real Madrid side can get to the Johan Cruyff Arena and collect a win, a much more capable Juventus should have no problem doing it. The Ajax is unlikely to go unnoticed, since he played against Bayern Munich in the group stage and scored more than 100 goals in all competitions this season, but expect Ronaldo and Co to be too strong for Erik's ten men Hagging score: Ajax 1 Juventus 2 . "
Daniel Lewis, Sports Mole: "The Ajax was brilliant in both races against Real Madrid and they were also in good shape at home. Juventus managed to recover against the Athletics in the # 39 ; last round and, pushed by the eventual return of Ronaldo, he should have had too much for the opponents in this first leg. Predicted score: Ajax 1 Juventus 2. "
Betting Ajax vs. Juventus
Prices according to Oddschecker, starting April 10th.
- Ajax to win: 12/5
- Juventus to win: 11/8
- Draw: 5/2
- Ajax: 10/3
- Juventus: 2/7
To win the Champions League
- Ajax: 40/1
- Juventus: 7/2
Champions League results and matches
Results of the quarter-final outing: Tuesday 9 April
- Liverpool 2 FC Porto 0
- Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 0
Calendar of the first stage: Wednesday 10 April
- Ajax vs. Juventus (20:00, live on BT Sport 3)
- Manchester United vs Barcelona (20:00, live on BT Sport 2)
Quarter-finals of the quarter-finals
- April 16: Juventus vs Ajax
- April 16: Barcelona against Manchester United
- April 17: Porto vs. Liverpool (0-2 overall)
- April 17: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-1 overall)