Ajax will be hoping to record their second major upset of the season when they take on Juventus in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday morning (5AM AEST).

The Dutch champions eliminated the three-time reigning holders Real Madrid in the round of 16, coming from a goal down in the first leg to win 5-3 on aggregate.

They go into their clash with the Italians locked at 1-1 – Juventus holding a slender advantage due to scoring an away goal at Johan Cruijff ArenA.

It may mean little if Ajax can replicate their magnificent Bernabeu performance in March.

There are still doubts over the fitness of star midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who limped off with a hamstring injury just 22 minutes into the weekend’s match against Excelsior Rotterdam.

Manager Erik ten Hag said it was a precaution and hopes to see him play against Juve.

“We will see, we are positive he can play,” he said.

“We took him off for prevention, we hope he can play but we will see if it is possible. We will see after this evening’s training.”

de Jong was sensational in the first leg, helping his side dictate the majority of the play against the Bianconeri.

Juventus have injury concerns of their own, with Giorgio Chiellini ruled out again, as well as Mario Mandžukić who will miss with knee trouble.

The Croatian has failed to score in 2019, however his presence is invaluable for the Old Lady.

Manager Max Allegri has a few options to replace Mandžukić, but is keeping his cards close to his chest.

“Kean or Dybala the replacement? I could use one, both or neither,” he said.

Paulo Dybala is the more likely option given his experience, but teenager Moise Kean has scored six goals in his past six Serie A games. It’s the type of form Dybala has struggled to find all season.

Juventus head into the second leg as heavy favourites – but do not rule out the kids from Ajax, who will look to defy the odds once more.

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com