UEFA: Before You Bet Read This (Real Madrid Vs Ajax)
Real Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane on Tuesday when the Flying Dutchmen come calling.
All 3 characters played significant roles in the 3 consecutive wins the White Angels enjoyed in European football's top competition.
Madrid hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Amsterdam, but they be licking their wounds after successive defeats to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and league over the last few days.
First, Barca beat them 3-0 on Wednesday night to advance into the final of the Copa del Rey courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate success.
Then the Catalan giants recorded a 1-0 victory in La Liga on Saturday night, with Ivan Rakitic grabbing the only goal of the contest.
Madrid's recent record in El Clasico is absolutely rotten and the latest defeat means that they are now 12 points off the top of the table, which means game over in terms of the title race.
With the Copa del Rey and La Liga both gone, all of Madrid's eggs are once again in the Champions League basket.
Luckily they do have just a bit of history in this competition, but it is difficult to imagine this team landing the trophy this term.
Madrid have won the last three editions of the Champions League and have been victorious in their last nine two-legged knockout ties in the competition, which is a quite staggering record.
But the mastermind of this record - Zidane - will be sipping red wine with friends and feeling no pressure at all in Paris.
Meanwhile, this is their 23rd Champions League campaign and indeed the 23rd time that they have reached the knockout stage.
The 13-time champions have also been semi-finalists or better in each of the last eight seasons, which is an indication of their quite staggering record in the competition.
It is worth remembering that Santiago Solari's side suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Girona in the league before the back-to-back games with Barca. As a result, they have lost their last three in front of their own supporters, who are incredibly frustrated with what they have seen from their team this season.
Madrid have won their last five home matches against Dutch opposition, though, and have still lost only six of their last 40 European matches.
What's more, the Spanish giants have lost just one of the 34 UEFA competition ties where they won the first leg away from home.
The statistics suggest that Ajax will score on Tuesday night, however, as Madrid have kept just three clean sheets in their last 19 games in all competitions, and none in their last seven.
My prediction: Ajax to win, Madrid to qualify.