Football Bet of the Day: Dynamo can shock Dutch giants

Ajax football fans
Ajax fans hope for a change in fortune in the Champions League

After an agonising near-miss involving one big team from the Netherlands, Kev is opposing another one tonight.

"Ajax have some great young players, but the club has slipped up in these European qualifiers time and time again in recent seasons."

Lay Ajax at 1.654/6

Ajax v Dynamo Kiev
Wednesday 22 August, 20:00

Burdens of the past could damage the hosts

"Heartbreak in Belarus" would be a great name for a black-and-white arthouse film, but as it is it describes a very disappointing evening for us in the Champions League. After Aleksandr Hleb (yes, the Arsenal one) had drawn BATE Borisov level at 2-2 against PSV in the 88th minute, the Dutch champions had the temerity to score a winner a minute later. Fin.

Anyway, we'll dust ourselves down and go again. Ajax are up against Dynamo Kiev in another Champions League playoff, and I believe the hosts are too short to take a first-leg lead.

Ajax are rebuilding under former Utrecht coach Erik ten Hag, and although they have overcome Sturm Graz and Standard Liege in the UCL qualifiers, a clash with Ukrainian giants Dynamo represents a step up in class. Dynamo have beaten old foes Shakhtar Donetsk on their way to a perfect start to the domestic season, and they have dumped Slavia Prague out of the Champions League.

Ajax are to some extent burdened by their recent failures to reach the UCL group stage. In 2018 they fell to French side Nice, they were thrashed by Rostov in 2017, and were edged out by Rapid Vienna the year before that. You have to go back to 2015 for the last time they reached the group stage of Europe's top competition, and that's a long time for a club of Ajax's stature.

Dynamo contested the UCL group stage in 2015 and 2016, and reached the Europa League's last 16 last term. The squad was heavily invested in over the summer, and the results have been impressive.

Although Ajax have picked up home wins in the previous two rounds, and have great young players like Frenkie De Jong, David Neres and Mathijs De Ligt, they feel way too short to me at 1.654/6. Dynamo are experienced at this level and are looking very sharp, and I see this as a far more even contest than the market suggests.

2018 P/L

Points Staked: 122

Points Returned: 129.6

P/L: +7.6 points

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