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⬇️ AZ Alkmaar Draw No Bet v Ajax on bet365
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Steijn already on Ajax chopping block
As always, we have kept our ear to the ground for any potential value to be found for our world-famous Gem Bets. Our European expert has highlighted the draw no bet market in Sunday’s Eredivisie clash between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar as one that may have been heavily overpriced by the bookmakers due to the dreadful form of Ajax. You can back this currently at a very appealing 2.20, but don’t hang around as this price likely won’t last long.
A historically bad start to a domestic campaign has left Maurice Steijn in limbo with regard to his tenure as Ajax’s manager. Not considered a popular choice on appointment, poor results have left his employment under threat, and with high-flying AZ heading to Amsterdam there could be trouble for the former European champions.
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💎 Gem Bet: AZ Alkmaar Draw No Bet v Ajax (Dutch Eredivisie)
Ajax v AZ Alkmaar
Ajax, one of Europe’s most decorated football clubs are in a severe crisis. Fans have been rioting, top club officials have been sacked and they have registered their worst start to a league campaign in nearly 60 years, and things don’t get easier this weekend as AZ Alkmaar are in town primed to heap yet more misery on this iconic club.
Ajax manager Maurice Steijn is a man under huge pressure having only won two of his nine matches in charge of the Dutch club. A record that saw Director of Football, Sven Mislintat, storm a recent training session demanding improvements or he would dismiss the man he was responsible for appointing. Instead, it was Mislintat himself who was sacked after months of turmoil and irregularities in the running of the club, especially with his transfer dealings.
A summer of transfer activity has seen the squad overhauled with experienced and talented players such as Davy Klaassen, Mohammed Kudus, Calvin Bassey, Dusan Tadic, Jurrien Timber and Edson Alvarez all departing. The new arrivals have been underwhelming to say the least and are simply not living up to the high expectations of the Ajax faithful. To say that the squad looks a shadow of the side that reached the Champions League semi-finals just a few years ago would be a gross understatement.
It’s actually been Ajax’s worst start to a campaign since 1964/1965, which ironically was the season in which club legend Johan Cruyff joined the youth academy. The on-the-field troubles were compounded during the recent clash with Feyenoord, the biggest match in Dutch football arguably. The match was marred by fan riots and protests with fireworks thrown onto the pitch and fans dispersed with tear gas, forcing the game to be abandoned with Ajax already 3-0 down. The game was replayed in an empty stadium with Feyenoord dispatching their bitter rivals 4-0. The defeat drew scathing criticism from the national press with Het Parool describing the performance as “Tactically laughable” while the NRC Daily said that the loss “Symbolised the existential crisis in which Ajax find themselves”.
There is already speculation swirling around who’s going to replace current boss Steijn following what seems an inevitable dismissal. Louis van Gaal, an Ajax legend, has ruled himself out of the running as he continues to recover from a series of health issues, but has offered to help the club in an advisory role. Jan van Halst, Ajax’s interim CEO described recent issues by saying:
“It is a very difficult period. If only it were that easy to flick a switch and turn things around.”
However, that won’t be made any easier with the visit of AZ Alkmaar this weekend.
In stark contrast to Ajax, the away side are absolutely flying this season and sit in 2nd place in the league table, just two points behind current leaders PSV. In fact, they’ve won ten of their 13 matches in all competitions this term, losing just once in that period. In the league, they’ve scored an impressive 20 goals in their opening seven fixtures while only conceding three and this is a team very high on confidence ahead of this clash, which should be enough to deepen the concerns of Ajax. The recent head-to-head between these sides also makes for interesting reading with AZ Alkmaar winning two and drawing two of the last five meetings.
Priced up at 2.90 AZ Alkmaar are very tempting and could easily go on and win the game comfortably. However the Double Chance (priced at 1.62) and Draw No Bet (priced at 2.20) markets are where the true value lies and make most appeal. We’ll side with the Draw No Bet market here, with stakes refunded if the home side can manage an unlikely draw, that’s the sensible play.
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