HomeEuropa LeagueAston Villa v Ajax: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Aston Villa v Ajax: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

Unai Emery has quite a reputation for performing well with clubs in European competition, having won the UEFA Europa League on four occasions with two different clubs, as well as reaching the final with another club and also the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League with Villarreal, too. Now he has a chance to win Aston Villa their second ever European trophy as they attempt to return to the elite level of European football.

Ajax have had an extremely underwhelming campaign, both on and off the pitch, and that continued at the weekend as the Dutch giants shared a 2-2 draw with Fortuna Sittard. That means the Amsterdam-based club have now managed just one win inside 90 minutes in their last nine matches across all competitions as they struggle to even finish in the top five spots in the Eredivisie.

Read our other news stories here:
Rangers v Benfica preview and prediction
Emery demands more from favourites Villa
White signs new Arsenal deal

Team News

Aston Villa have been dealing with a few long-term injury issues ahead of this one with the likes of Tyrone Mings and Emi Buendia remaining unavailable. Diego Carlos recently returned to the squad but Boubacar Kamara and Jacob Ramsey will miss this clash. Ezri Konsa is suspended, too.

As for Ajax, their injury ravaged and inexperienced squad missed several key men last week, such as former Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn. He is still a doubt, whilst Steven Berghuis is a definite injury absentee. Tristan Gooijer is also out suspended for this one.

Expected Line-ups

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Douglas Luiz, Tielemans; Bailey, McGinn, Diaby; Watkins

Ajax: Ramaj; Sutalo, Kaplan, Hato; Rensch, Henderson, Mannsverk, Sosa; Hlynsson, Akpom, Taylor

What they Said

Unai Emery was really disappointed with his team’s performance last week saying they did not play well and he did not get the reaction he would have wanted at the weekend as they were hammered by Tottenham at Villa Park.

Jordan Henderson was full of praise for his young and inexperienced Ajax side as they held a strong Aston Villa team with the former Liverpool captain saying ‘they were outstanding’ in his post-match interview.

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at Villa Park at 20:00 on Thursday March 14th and will be shown live on TNT Sports. It will also be able to be streamed live via the TNT Sports app in the UK.

Prediction

It is a difficult thing to do but lets separate the current reality away from the fact that Aston Villa are playing the three-time European champions but it has to be done. Villa are playing a team from the Netherlands that are struggling to fend off the likes of NEC Nijmegen and Go Ahead Eagles and it really should be a formality for a big spending Premier League club with an experienced coach. This should be a comfortable Aston Villa victory.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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