Ajax will travel to Glasgow this Tuesday to face Rangers in their last group game of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League season.
Venue: Ibrox Stadium (Glasgow)
Rangers have lost all their UCL group games this season, conceding 19 times. Only Viktoria Plzen (20) have conceded more goals after five games.
The Scottish side have scored just once. Only FC Copenhagen (zero) have scored fewer goals.
Ajax are unbeaten in nine of their 13 historical encounters with Scottish clubs (W7, D2, L4).
The visitors have conceded at least three goals in three straight European games for the first time in club history.
They have recorded just three losses across their last 24 UCL away games (W11, D10).
Mohamed Kudus has an impressive scoring record of nine goals in 17 appearances this season.
Head to head
In five meetings between both sides, Ajax have a 100% record, winning all five games.
Latest performances in all competitions
After finally making it to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2010/11, Rangers fans could have asked for better than the sorry results their side have experienced in the competition this season.
The Scottish giants went to the final of the Europa League last season, narrowly losing to Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties. But in the UCL this season, it has been abysmal, with five losses in the five group games while conceding 19 goals and scoring just once.
That goal record means that they have the worst goal difference for teams in the UCL this season. They sit at the bottom of the table and the only way they can secure springtime European football now is if they pip Ajax to third place by winning with a 5+ goal margin, having lost 4-0 to the Dutch side in the reverse fixture.
While that looks unlikely, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side will at least hope to make it two wins in two games after a 4-1 win over Aberdeen last time out. They will also be desperate to avoid joining a list of only 22 sides to have lost every game in a UCL group stage, a number which could increase if Plzeň also lose in Group C.
Possible Rangers starting line-up
Allan McGregor; James Tavernier, James Sands, Ben Davies, Borna Barisic; Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield; Fashion Sakala, Ryan Kent, Malik Tillman; Alfredo Morales.
Injured: Connor Goldson, Tom Lawrence, Glen Kamara, John Souttar, Kemar Roofe, Filip Helander, Nnamdi Ofoborh, Ianis Hagi.
Suspended: John Lundstram
Ajax’s chances of playing in the UCL next year ended last week when they were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool at Amsterdam.
Goals from Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott sealed the win for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The target will now be for the visitors to bounce back from that defeat having not played over the weekend.
They can secure Europa League football if they avoid defeat here or they lose by less than five goals. Given that only once since 1964/65, and just five times in Ajax’s history, have they been defeated by a 5+ goal margin, it seems improbable that they will miss out on Europa League football next year.
Nevertheless, they will travel to Scotland looking to win and extend their impressive away record in the last 24 UCL games (W11, D10, L3).
Possible Ajax starting line-up
Remko Pasveer; Devyne Rensch, Jurrien Timber, Calvin Bassey, Daley Blind; Edson Álvarez, Davy Klaassen, Steven Berghuis; Dusan Tadic, Mohammed Kudus, Steven Bergwijn.
Injured: Charlie Setford, Ahmetcan Kaplan, Mohammed Ihattaren
|Rangers to win
|Ajax to win
Rangers 2-2 Ajax