Valencia v Ajax: Who will take the impetus in Group H?
Rodrigo celebrating his winner v Chelsea via Getty Images- Richard Heathcote

Valencia v Ajax: Who will take the impetus in Group H?

Valencia host Dutch table-toppers Ajax in matchday two of the Champions League.

matthew-wojciow
Matthew Wojciow

Valencia host last year's Champions League semi-finalists Ajax on matchday two in Group H. 

Valencia kicked off this season's Champions League campaign with a fortunate 1-0 victory over Frank Lampard's Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Hotshot striker Rodrigo got the winner, 16 minutes from time. Ross Barkley missed a last-minute penalty for Chelsea. 

Ajax also started this season's Champions League in fine style with a 3-0 win over Ligue 1 side Lille at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Goals from Edson Alvarez, Nicolas Tagliafico and Quincy Promes gave the Eredivisie leaders a resounding win and sent them to the top of Group H.

Crisis at the Mestalla?

The start to the La Liga season for Valencia has been very mixed. There is currently a rift between the fans and the owner, Peter Lim over the sacking of manager Marcelino in mid-September. 

Els Taronges find themselves in ninth position in the league after seven games. Valencia have only won two games so far in the league and only achieved their first league win since Marcelino's sacking on Saturday with a 1-0 win away at Athletic Bilbao. 

Valencia will have counted their blessings in the game against Chelsea as they only managed two shots on target all game. Chelsea peppered the Valencia goal with 22 shots and the Blues also enjoyed more of the possession with 60% of the ball.

Can Ajax go one step further this year?

In stark contrast to Valencia, Ajax come into this game in tremendous form. 

Ajax are currently unbeaten abroad and in the league, so far this season and currently sit top of the Eredivisie on goal difference from PSV. 

Despite losing Frenkie De Jong and Mathias De Ligt in the summer, Ajax are just as strong as they were last season, which saw the Dutch side a Lucas Moura last-second strike away from a Champions League Final. 

Ajax head into the game in good form having won their last two games including a 2-0 victory over Groningen at the weekend.

Ajax also have a very long unbeaten streak in the Group Stages of European competition. They are currently on a 16 game unbeaten run including nine wins. 

Key Stats of this fixture

Valencia haven't won their opening two group games since the 2006-07 season. Els Taronges are looking to make it three consecutive home wins in the Champions League for the first time since 2012. 

Valencia also haven't lost to a Dutch side in the Champions League in the entire competition's history. In their last six meetings with Dutch teams, neither side has netted more than once in any of them. 

Ajax have been on the losing side against Spanish teams in 11 of their last 13 meetings. Ajax though are on a four-game away winning streak in the Champions League, which is their best run since 1997. 

This will be the third meeting in the Champions League with the last meeting happening in the Group Stage in 2003. Both fixtures ended in 1-1 draws. 

Team News

Valencia will be without Carlos Soler, Cristiano Piccini and Jose Gaya. 

Kevin Gameiro, Geoffery Kondogbia and Ezequiel Garay are doubts for Valencia.

Carel Eiting and Bande will be missing for Ajax. Zakaria Labyad is a doubt for the Dutch side.

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