Crucial Europa League Matchup
On Thursday, Brighton and Ajax will meet for the first time ever in the UEFA Europa League. Both sides are among the most exciting to watch in the competition and have loads of offensive potential. Still, they’re both going for their first win of the campaign when they face off at the AMEX Stadium. Roberto de Zerbi will hope he can deliver Brighton’s first-ever UEFA win, while Ajax have drawn both of their matches so far. In an important Group B match, we’ll take a look at Thursday’s Brighton vs Ajax betting odds.
⚽Brighton vs Ajax⚽
Location: American Express Stadium, Brighton and Hove, England
This is the first opportunity to bet on the Brighton vs Ajax betting odds in UEFA competition. This is Brighton’s first match vs a Dutch team, while Ajax haven’t won any of their last seven games vs English sides.
Brighton Struggling to Defend
Brighton managed to hang with Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League but ultimately fell 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. That means that the Seagulls are now winless in their last five games, in all competitions, with an 0-2-3 record during that time. Through 12 matches, they’re yet to keep a clean sheet and their games have often turned into goal fests.
Just look at their Europa League scores so far for proof. In their opener, the Seagulls fell 3-2 at home to AEK Athens. Then, Brighton pulled off a comeback to draw 2-2 at Marseille. Joao Pedro has scored three of Brighton’s four Europa League goals so far and they’ve all come on penalties. Currently, the Seagulls are in last place in the Group B Europa League table, with one point.
Still, a win here would bump them up to second place in what figures to be a wide open group. Brighton’s problem has been defense this season, as there’s no denying their attacking prowess. Roberto De Zerbi has UEL players like Pedro, Kaoru Mitoma and Ansu Fati at his disposal and they’re all difference makers. Teenage sensation Evan Ferguson is also looking for his first Europa League goal. De Zerbi will be without Pervis Estupinan and Julio Enciso on Thursday while Tariq Lamptey is questionable.
Utter Chaos for Ajax
Ajax, just a few years removed from a memorable run to the Champions League final, are in complete disarray. Following Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Utrecht in the Eredivisie, coach Maurice Steijn was sacked. During his short tenure with the club, he compiled a 1-2-4 record in the Dutch top flight, leaving the Amsterdam side in 17th place of 18 teams. Ajax haven’t faced relegation since 1914 but they’re currently in the relegation zone.
Incredibly, Ajax haven’t won a match for two months even though they’ve so often dominated the Eredivisie for the past few decades. Hedwiges Maduro will be the caretaker manager for Thursday’s Europa League game as Ajax look to turn around their season. Despite a mass exodus over the Summer, there’s still talent on the roster.
Steven Bergwijn, Brian Brobbey, Kenneth Taylor and Steven Berghuis are all Dutch internationals. However, Davy Klaassen, Owen Wijndal, Mohamed Kudus, Dusan Tadic, Jurrien Timber, Edson Alvarez, Calvin Bassey and Florian Grillitsch all left the club over the Summer. Still, Ajax show +3300 odds to win the Europa League final 2023-24. They’ve managed two draws in their first two Europa League games and are very much in the running for the knockout stage.
Match Analysis & Odds
Given the chaotic situation that Ajax find themselves in, Brighton are big favorites to get their first-ever UEFA win. The Seagulls are -315 favorites for Thursday’s match and are 1.5-goal favorites. This would’ve seemed unthinkable just months ago but the Brighton vs Ajax betting odds price visiting Ajax at +675 odds. That corresponds to just a 12.9 implied chance of victory.
While Brighton haven’t won any of their last five games, Ajax are on an eight-game winless streak. Prior to Steijn’s firing, director of football Sven Mislintat was dismissed and there were fan protests that led to a match vs. Feyenoord getting postponed. All things considered, Brighton -1.5 displays -120 odds as they’ve still been playing functional football despite their winless run.
Ajax have looked completely out of sorts and Ajax +1.5 sits at -110 odds here. Notably, 19-year old Kristian Hlynsson did score his first two goals for Ajax in the 4-3 loss at Utrecht and could be an option here. Left back Borna Sosa provided both assists for the Icelandic teenager. A draw comes in at +500 odds while both over and under 3.5 goals show -115 odds. With how much both UEL teams have been conceding lately, it wouldn’t be surprising if the over hits.