The Ajax Paradox

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Paradox: noun – a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.

Tuesday night is a crucial night for Celtic in the Champions League. They host a stuttering AC Milan side, while Ajax take on Barcelona in Amsterdam. If Celtic win and Ajax don’t, Neil Lennon’s side will move into 2nd place in the group.

So far so simple. But what if I was to tell you that, if Celtic win, they would actually want Ajax to draw rather than lose against Barcelona? It sounds daft, but it’s actually true.

Let’s examine the possibilities. A Celtic win on Tuesday is eminently possible, but it seems unlikely they’ll manage the 3 goal win they’d need to lead AC Milan on head-to head.  In 46 previous Champions League group stage matches, Celtic have only once won by such a margin (v Benfica…

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