Champions collide as Ajax host PSG and Ibrahimovic returns
PSG talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic once scored 48 goals in 110 appearances for Ajax, and the prolific Swede returns to one of his old stomping grounds in Champions League action.
This group stage encounter actually lives up to the European elite club competition’s name, as it pits title winners from France against those of the Netherlands. It’s the visitors that Coral make odds-on 4/6 favourites for victory, because of Ibrahimovic’s sensational form this term.
Zlatan has five league goals in just two appearances, so it’s no wonder Coral make him short at 10/11 in the anytime market. Ajax, 4/1 outsiders for three points here, can no longer rely on Daley Blind to patrol in front of the back four, so a better bet on Ibrahimovic would be odds of 4/1 for him to bag a brace or better.
Laurent Blanc has made a tactical switch to 4-4-2 following complaints last term from Uruguay frontman Edinson Cavani (5/4 for a goal anytime) about playing on the wing. Lucas Moura (10/3) and Javier Pastore (11/4), now back in favour, are being used in the wide positions, meaning Argentine attacker Ezequiel Lavezzi (5/1 to score last) must do with an impact sub role.
The Parisians may not have this fixture at the Amsterdam ArenA all their own way, however, as home side boss Frank de Boer may have unearthed another diamond to polish. Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik has two in as many Eredivisie outings, and the 20-year-old could establish himself as a creditable alternative to, or partner for, compatriot Robert Lewandowski by scoring in this match at 11/4.
Milik may have to play second fiddle to Iceland international Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, however, as he chose to remain with Ajax despite interest from QPR. Stats are not in his favour, though. Sigthorsson has failed to score in the Champions League for his side or in the league this term. This poor form means odds of 2/1 in the anytime market must be avoided.
Denmark winger Lasse Schone is enjoying a purple patch like Milik, so PSG’s full backs will have to be wary of his threat. It’s 10/3 he finds the target in this Champions League opener. Odds of 11/4 say this will be a draw, but punters’ best bet might be backing an away win and both teams scoring at 13/5 as skipper Thiago Silva is missing for the Parisians.