Real Madrid was quite lucky to get out of Amsterdam with a 2-1 win in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. Ajax played very well at the Johan Cruyff Arena but was inconsistent in front of the goal. Tonight a sold-out Santiago Bernabeu will lay the ground for the exciting second leg.
Since the first leg, Madrid has been in very poor form. They have lost twice against Barcelona and also against Girona, and only just managed to scrape home a 2-1 win versus Levante.
The knockout from the Copa del Rey about a week ago, and the loss in the league against Barcelona means that Los Blancos only have the Champions League title left to fight for. However, players like Karim Benzema and especially the youngster Vinicius Junior needs to be sharper in front of goal. Because, in both El Clasico’s Madrid had a lot of good opportunities, and especially, in the Copa semifinal last week, they missed way too many chances. That needs to change if they are going to defend their Champions League title once again.
This evening, an early goal for Ajax could mean serious trouble the home team, especially without Sergio Ramos, after he deliberately got a booking in the first leg.
Because Ajax is going into the game full of confidence. The Amsterdam team has won their last three games with a total score of 13-1. On the other hand, Madrid needs tonight’s game to gain some confidence once again.
I think it is going to be a tight game with both teams to score. Everything is definitely possible for Ajax with Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic in great form, and with how shaky Madrid is right now.
With Sergio Ramos in quarantine, Nacho Hernandez will take his spot as center back. Reguilon is expected to start instead of Marcelo once again.
Dusan Tadic started instead of Kasper Dolberg and Klaas Jan-Huntelaar as the central forward in the first leg and it is likely that will be the case once again on Tuesday night.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Reguilon; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Lucas
Ajax: Onana; Mazraoui, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; De Jong, Schone; Neres, Van de Beek, Ziyech; Tadic