Meeting his previous clubs in the Champions League tends to bring out the merciful side in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose Paris Saint-Germain travel to Ajax in the midst of a distinctly moderate run of form.
It’s just as well for the Sons of Gods, who plucked Ibra from Malmo as a 19-year-old before selling him onto Internazionale for €16m after 48 goals in 110 appearances over a shade more than three seasons.
The Swede has started the season like a man possessed, running ahead of the tide with five goals in his first four Ligue 1 games.
Ajax have been attributed underdog’s odds of 18/5 for the visit of Les Parisiens, with Laurent Blanc’s men 7/10 favourites for the three points despite recent travel travails and the draw an 11/4 shot.
Yet, despite the damning assessment of the bwin layers, there’s every reason to believe Amsterdam’s finest are capable of landing at double-chance odds of 6/5.
Firstly there’s Les Rouge-et-Bleu’s less than stellar start to the Ligue 1 campaign, which has seen them draw all three of their away games to date against foes as modest as Reims, Evian and Rennes.
However, there’s also the benign record of their talisman against his past clubs to consider.
Ibrahimovic’s CV is a smorgasbord of regulars at the European captain’s table that features, along with Malmo, Inter and Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan.
During his career he has faced the Dutchmen four times, the Nerazzurri thrice and Barca on a couple of occasions.
Yet during those nine fixtures he has found the net just twice, a far cry from last season’s Champions League goal-per-game ratio of 1.25 strikes an outing.
Evidence of a sensitive side to one of the world’s most ruthless marksmen? Possibly.
An indication that Frank de Boer’s hosts are worth a second look in the double-chance betting? Most certainly.