Ajax needed extra-time to get past Schalke in the quarters as they bid for their first European success since they won the Champions League in 1994/95, though their chances of a potential double took a hit on Sunday as they went down 1-0 at PSV. Lyon, on the other hand, won 2-1 at Angers on Friday night after they edged past Besiktas on penalties in the quarters.
Ajax have been excellent at the Amsterdam Arena in recent times, winning 20 of 21 unbeaten games there in all competitions, including all six of their Europa League games. The manner of their victories have also been impressive as they kept five clean sheets and also led at the break in five of these games. What’s more, they’ve won all five of their Europa League knockout home games since 2014/15 without conceding, so they’re understandably 2.38 favourites here.
History’s also on their side as home teams have lost just two first legs of the last 28 Europa League semi-finals since 2002/03, while Lyon have lost their last two away Europa League games 2-1, at Roma and Besiktas. Indeed, since Lyon are just W2-D3-L4 when travelling to top-half sides in Ligue 1 this term, we’re siding with Ajax to continue their excellent home form and take a lead into the second leg.
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