Lille vs AjaxUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Nov 27, 2019, Stade Pierre-Mauroy
AJAX will be aiming to cement their place at the summit of Group H when they lock horns with Lille in the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday night.
Wit the top-three teams in the section all level on seven points, Ajax can take advantage of the fact that something will have to give between Valencia and Chelsea when they meet at the Mestalla in the early evening kick-off.
Standing in the Dutch champions way of what would be a precious three points is a Lille outfit who have already been eliminated from Europe's elite club competition after four rounds of fixtures.
Christophe Galtier's men have been brushed aside by all three teams in the section – with the one exception coming when they collected their one and only point against Valencia at this venue on matchday three.
Domestically, Les Dogue have made a labored start to their Ligue 1 campaign where they currently lie 10th after 14 matches and more alarmingly the French outfit have only managed to win one of their last 11 matches across all competitions.
Such a poor sequence of results does not bode well for a Lille side who are set to welcome free-scoring Ajax to northern France.
Erik ten Hag's hot-shots are flying high at the top of the Eredivisie where they remain unbeaten after 14 matches, not to mention Ajax are averaging almost three goals-per game.
The Dutch champions cruised to a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture on the opening night of the competition and a repeat of that outcome would put Ajax on the brink of qualification to the knockout-phase.
The bookmakers odds for this battle suggest that Ajax will do the double over Lille with an away win priced at 17/20 (William Hill) meanwhile, both a home win or a draw are deemed unlikely with both of those respective outcomes priced at 3/1 (UniBet)
Although Lille have struggled to acclimate to their return to continental competition, their campaign has been lit up by the performances of vibrant young striker Victor Osimhen.
The pacey and powerful twenty year old has been compared to Didier Drogba and his displays this season have seen him linked with a big-money move to a number of European superpowers.
The Nigerian goal-getter has scored against both Chelsea and Valencia and given that Ajax will be without suspended centre-half paring Daley Blind and Joel Veltamn, I fancy Osimhen to add to his tally of nine goals in 17 appearances this season by scoring at anytime at an eye-catching 9/5 (UniBet)
In conjunction with that I'm also going to delve into the card market with an Ajax defender in mind, namely, left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.
The Argentine defender was booked nine times last term during Ajax's surge to the semi-finals and having all already racked up six cards across all competitions this season, Tagliafico looks overpriced at 3/1 (Unibet) to have his name taken against Lille.
However, at the other end of the park the Amsterdam outfit have an abundance of attacking talent and that coupled with the fact that Ajax will be aware of the their group rivals result ahead of this fixture could be a key factor in considering who comes out on top in this clash.
What's more, the visitors are undefeated in their last 14 away trips in the Champions League and although I suspect that record will remain intact, I'm not tempted enough to back Ajax outright.
Lille have scored in 10 of their last 12 matches and they will be coming up against a makeshift Ajax defence and with that in mind I'm going to instead back the away team on the double-chance in a match that sees both teams score at 10/11 (Bet 365) – a betting angle that would have landed in Lille's previous two Champions League home games.
This UEFA Champions League match between Lille and Ajax will be played on Nov 27, 2019 and kick off at 20:00