Ajax vs MarseilleUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Sep 21, 2023, Johan Cruyff Arena
Ajax and Marseille kick off their UEFA Europa League campaign with a Group B clash on Thursday. Both teams look evenly matched and could be set to cancel each other out.
A disappointing campaign last season meant Ajax were already destined for the Europa League this term. Maurice Steijn's men came through the playoffs to secure a place in the group stage, claiming a 4-2 aggregate victory over Bulgarian side Ludogorets.
Ajax have made an even worse start to the current campaign as they are sitting in the bottom half of the standings in the Eredivisie. They head into Thursday’s clash with just one win in their last five matches across all competitions and were beaten 3-1 by Twente in a domestic fixture last weekend.
Things are just as difficult at home for Ajax, who have lost their way since claiming a 4-1 victory over Heracles on the opening weekend of the Eredivisie. They have lost their last two matches at Johan Cruyff Arena and were beaten 1-0 by Ludogorets in their playoff second leg.
Marseille are in the Europa League after failing to make the cut in the Champions League qualifiers. Marcelino’s men lost on penalties to Greek side Panathinaikos after battling to a 2-2 aggregate draw over two legs.
Like Ajax, Marseille have also endured a difficult start to the season and travel to the Johan Cruyff Arena with just one win in their last five matches across all competitions. They have been plagued by too many draws having been held three times in the last four matches, including a 0-0 draw with Toulouse last weekend.
Marseille have also found things difficult on their travels and are yet to pick up a single away win across all competitions this season. They have drawn their last two fixtures on the road, playing out a 2-2 scoreline at Metz before being held 1-1 by Nantes.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
There have been three previous fixtures between both teams with Marseille claiming one win while the other two have ended in draws. The most recent meeting was a friendly in 2016 which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Players to watch
Brian Brobbey has caught the eye for Ajax this season and heads into Thursday’s clash with three goals in his last five matches. The attacker could be the one to watch and is priced at 12/5 by Willi Hill to get on the score sheet.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the most experienced attacker at Marseille and netted a brace in the playoff second leg with Panathinaikos. William Hill is offering odds of 11/5 on the Gabon striker to score anytime.
Anything else catch the eye?
One of the major problems for Ajax and Marseille is a lack of discipline at the back which means goals could be expected here. The Dutch side saw over 3.5 goals last weekend and a repeat is priced at 7/4 by BetVictor.
Marseille have played out a halftime draw in their last two matches and could be set for a repeat at 13/10 by bet365. With a cagey opening expected on Thursday, both teams can be backed to score in the second half at 7/4 with Paddy Power.
This UEFA Europa League match between Ajax and Marseille will be played on Sep 21, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Ajax vs Marseille prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.