Ajax begin their Champions League campaign on Wednesday as they welcome French giants PSG to the Amsterdam Arena.

zlatanFrank de Boer has targeted a place in the last 16 for his Ajax side but after drawing PSG, Barcelona, and APOEL that will be no easy task for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have not made a great start to the Eredivisie campaign with a laboured 2-1 win over Heracles at the weekend giving them nine points from their opening five games. A huge improvement will be needed if they are to start their group campaign with a win against the money rich Ligue 1 champions

Influential midfielder Davy Klaassen is a doubt for the game after picking up a calf injury on Saturday, while striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson will come back into the starting line-up after being rested. It is also rumoured that impressive young winger Anwar El Ghazi will be dropped in favour of Lucas Andersen. Ricardo Kishna will not be in the squad after playing for Jong Ajax on Monday.

Possible Ajax line-up: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Boilesen, Moisander, Veltman, Zimling, Serero, Klaassen/Duarte, Andersen, Schone, Sigthorsson

PSG will bring three familiar faces to Amsterdam with both right back Gregory van der Wiel, left back Maxwell and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich all returning to their former club.

Van der Wiel has revealed that he may find it strange to face the side he joined as an eight year old before leaving in 2012 for France, “It’ll be weird to play against them because I still have many friends there. Actually, I know everyone.”

Laurent Blanc’s side have had an up and down start to their league campaign with two wins and two draws which means they sit fifth in the table. Defenders Thiago Silva, Serge Aurier and David Luiz are both doubts for the game in Amsterdam.

Possible PSG line-up: Sirigu, Van der Wiel, Maxwell, Marquinhos, Camara, Motta, Cabaye, Pastore, Lucas, Cavani, Ibrahimovic

Key Match Ups:

Sigthorsson v Marquinhos:

With David Luiz and Thiago Silva both doubts for the match the PSG defence may be weaker than usual and Ajax forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson will need to take advantage. However the Icelandic international has failed to score so far this season and against PSG he will come up against €31.4 million centre back Marquinhos. Whoever wins this battle could determine the match

Moisander v Ibrahimovic:

All eyes in the Amsterdam Arena will be on the return of Zlatan to the club he spent three years with and scored 48 times for in 110 matches before leaving for Juventus. The Swedish international has scored 83 times in 94 games for PSG and it will be up to Miklas Moisander to stop him from adding to that tally.

Prediction:

Ajax remained unbeaten in all three of their home games in the competition last season, which included a 2-1 win over Barcelona, but they fell just short of a last 16 spot. Avoiding defeat on Wednesday is crucial if they are to better last season. However having lost both Daley Blind and Siem de Jong this summer, Frank de Boer’s side are undoubtedly weakened, and may struggle to contain a world class PSG side that is aiming to win the competition.

The Amsterdam Arena will be full and rocking, but its the Ajax players who will need to raise their game if they are to come out victorious and get their Champions League campaign off to a perfect start. However the pre-game talk has been about Zlatan’s return, and the Swede may have too much quality for the Ajax defence.

Ajax 1-2 PSG




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