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Aston Villa v Ajax: Predictions, Tips and Odds

Aston Villa's last-16 Europa Conference League tie against Ajax was expected to be a high-scoring affair, but the goalless first leg in Amsterdam produced as many red cards - two - as it did shots on target.

Villa's Ezri Konsa and Ajax's Tristan Gooijer were both dismissed in the final 10 minutes and Unai Emery will want a positive reaction from his Villans side after Sunday's 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham in the Premier League.


Aston Villa v Ajax betting predictions

Draw/Aston Villa-Half Time/Full Time - 10/3

Ajax have had a disappointing season, but they showed some defensive solidity in the first leg and may be able to frustrate Aston Villa until half-time in Thursday's return leg.

Clean sheets have been a rarity for Ajax in 2023/24 although they have shut out two of their last three opponents, beating Utrecht 2-0 in the Eredivisie before last week's Conference League stalemate.

Villa boss Emery admitted that his side did not play well in Amsterdam and the four-time Europa League-winning coach may not have things all his own way at Villa Park.

Emery led the club to a 15-match winning streak at home in the Premier League earlier this season, but they have been far less convincing in recent games.

A 1-1 draw with struggling Sheffield United in December was followed by a nervy 3-2 win over 10-man Burnley and Villa have now lost four of their last five home games in all competitions.

Their goals in this year's defeats to Newcastle, Chelsea and Manchester United came in the 71st, 91st and 67th minutes, while Sunday's 4-0 loss to Tottenham was goalless at half-time.

Villa played the final 25 minutes of the Spurs game with 10 men after John McGinn's red card so they may not be at their sharpest early on against Ajax.

The Premier League side should have the quality to get the job done in 90 minutes, but the draw-Villa selection appeals in the Half Time/Full Time betting.

Kenneth Taylor Anytime Goalscorer - 17/2

Brian Brobbey is Ajax's main goal threat, scoring 16 times in 23 Eredivisie starts this season, but it could be worth taking a chance on midfielder Kenneth Taylor in the Anytime Goalscorer market.

The 21-year-old has been playing in a more advanced role recently and two of his three league goals have come in Ajax's last two games against Utrecht and Fortuna Sittard.

Taylor averages 1.6 shots per game in the Eredivisie and scored in the Europa League group clashes with Marseille and AEK Athens this season.

His 114th-minute goal sealed a tense victory in the previous round of the Conference League and he was unfortunate not to break the deadlock in the first leg against Villa, forcing Emiliano Martinez into an excellent save with Ajax's only shot on target.

Under 8.5 Match Shots on Target - 5/6

Villa and Ajax managed just one attempt on target each in last week's 0-0 draw and, while the goalkeepers should be busier at Villa Park, backing under 8.5 Match Shots on Target looks like a good bet.

Ajax will not want an open, expansive contest against Villa, who also mustered only one shot on target in Sunday's 4-0 loss to Tottenham.

Spurs scored with four of their five on-target efforts and there were only nine in Villa's previous home match, a 4-2 win over Nottingham Forest.

Ajax's last away game, a 2-0 defeat at AZ Alkmaar, featured three shots on target apiece and clear chances may be scarce in the second leg at Villa Park.

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Aston Villa v Ajax Odds

Aston Villa - 2/5
Draw - 4/1
Ajax - 6/1

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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