The Ajax team that started in Greece last week was a far cry from the one that started their last European game against Tottenham in May last year.
Like Monaco two years previous, Ajax were plundered by bigger clubs across Europe this summer and could suffer further damage before the end of August.
Chances of repeating a semi-final berth are low this season, but they still should fancy their chances of beating PAOK at home.
Dusan Tadic and Donny Van De Beek will shoulder a lot of the responsibility going forward following the loss of Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt this summer and both have hit the ground running in the Eredivisie, scoring in both of their games so far.
With both Tadic and Van De Beek at their best, Ajax should have far too much for PAOK in Amsterdam.
Pick: Ajax (-1) – 4/5
Celtic hold a slight advantage in this one following James Forrest’s equaliser in Romania last week. The perennial Scottish champions have gotten their league campaign off to a flier with huge wins against Motherwell and St Johnstone, but found the going a lot tougher in Transylvania last week.
Cluj have enjoyed a similarly bright start to life in the Romanian Premier Division and pose a greater threat to Celtic than the majority of Scottish teams.
With home advantage, Celtic should have enough to get over the line and move a step closer to returning to the Champions League group stages, but it will be a nervy night at Celtic Park.
One away goal is not much of an advantage and that can be quickly cancelled out or bettered. Celtic did not look brilliant defensively in Romania or against Motherwell at the weekend either and could easily give their fans a scare tomorrow.
Dundalk’s European exploits have gone downhill since they recorded a credible draw against Qarabag in Ireland. The Irish champions were well beaten in the return leg in Azerbaijan, barely registering a shot in anger, before they succumbed to a disappointing away defeat in Slovakia last week.
Dundalk would have fancied their chances of coming away with a result last week and now have it all to do if they are to progress into a lucrative tie with Ajax or PAOK.
Failure to score an away goal has been a thorn in Dundalk’s side throughout their European campaign, failing to do so in any of their three games.
They will surely have to prevent Slovan from scoring one if they are to live to fight another day. Prospects of qualifying are quite slim at the moment, but Dundalk should have enough to win the game at least.
Pick: Dundalk to win – 9/5
- Ajax v PAOK: Ajax (-1) – 4/5
- Celtic v Cluj: Celtic to win and both teams to score – 11/4
- Dundalk v Slovan: Dundalk to win – 9/5
A £/€1 treble on these three selections returns £/€18.90 on paddypower.com. Odds subject to change.