Barcelona vs Ajax 10/21/2014 Free UEFA Champions League Pick and Preview
Ajax vs Barcelona
Tuesday 21st October 2014 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Barcelona Draw Ajax See the Latest Odds
TV: sky sports; fox sports; direct tv
With a squad of superstars Barcelona have made hard work of winning lately, its been mostly second half dominations throughout the last month and while I think that the Nou Camp crowd will expect a big performance on Tuesday night I cant help but feel that the home teams first half struggles may continue. Neymar and Messi have been brilliant averaging a goal a game each the two south american superstars elevate Barcelona to the elite level but at the moment I think Barcelona's midfield are struggling to impose themselves. Xavi looks like his influence is on the wain, Iniesta while still brilliant is not having as much joy in the creative department and Luis Enrique is still settling in as manager. It seems shortsighted to have a negative outlook on Barcelona while the team is top of the league by four points but I believe they will struggle this season against the better teams and their first real league test will come next Saturday when they visit the Bernebeau.
For Ajax they may be hoping that Barcelona have one eye firmly fixed on the upcoming El Classico and may not be fully prepared for what should be a tough game. Frank De Boar's side have plenty of ability both in the midfield and up front and will not be underprepared going into this game. Defensively Ajax are not bad either and they will have a gameplan to deal with Messi and Neymar, whether they will be able to hold the two for the entire ninty minutes is another matter. With Sigborsson and Milik though De Boar has two goalscoring threats that can keep Barcelona's porous defence honest.
I have been betting against Barcelona in the first half of late and am going to continue the trend here. I think Ajax can keep this one close and tight for most of the game and more than likely will go to the Nou Camp and set up with eleven behind the ball. Ajax are also adept at holding onto possession and showed int he game against PSG that they have no problems hanging in with the big boys in Europe. This may be a frustrating game for the Barcelona superstars. I am taking Ajax +1 on the first half handicap. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo