This Sunday, Ajax host PSV Eindhoven in a top of the table Eredivisie clash. Kick-off in the Johan Cruijff ArenA is at 3.45pm.

The Eredivisie title race is shaping up to be another close call this year and on Sunday, top of the table Ajax hosts second-placed PSV Eindhoven in a mouth watering clash.

Ajax are currently one point ahead of their bitter rivals going into the game, but it’s PSV who are in better form having won their last three league games on the bounce, while the hosts drew with Willem II last time out.

PSV boss Roger Schmidt sees opportunities against Ajax, “When we actively play football, spaces are always created. But also for the opponent. But if we do that very well, we can control that, although Ajax can too. They are not always well organized.”

Ajax have several top of the table clashes in January but Erik ten Hag thinks his side are in good shape, “The proportions are now becoming visible. It is not yet decisive, although you do know where you are at the end of the month. We are in good shape so far. We are in first position and have shown that we can play well organized football.”

Team News

Ajax could hand a debut to new signing Sebastien Haller up front with Brian Brobbey and Lassina Traore both out, while Klaas Jan Huntelaar is a doubt.

David Neres is also going to miss the game, while Mohamed Kudus and Lisandro Martinez are touch and go.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Mazraoui, Tagliafico, Schuurs, Blind, Klaassen, Gravenberch, Labyad, Antony, Tadic, Haller

PSV are sweating over the fitness of Mario Gotze ahead of the clash, while Marco van Ginkel and Erick Gutierrez are doubts.

Ryan Thomas and Eran Zahavi are back in contention though.

Possible PSV line-up: Mvogo, Dumfries, Max, Teze, Boscagli, Sangare, Rosario, Ihattaren, Gakpo, Malen, Zahavi

Odds

Ajax 8/13 Draw 16/5 PSV 4/1

Key battles

Ryan Gravenberch v Ibrahim Sangare

The battle for the midfield will be key to who wins on Sunday and Sangare will crucial for PSV as he provides cover for the defence and tries to stop Gravenberch from creating chances for Ajax. Both players have been in great form this season so it should be an excellent battle.

Antony v Philipp Max

Antony has been Ajax’s brightest attacking spark in the Eredivisie this season and on Sunday he will look to get the better of Max, who has arguably been PSV’s player of the season so far. Both players will look to have an impact going forward, but Max will need to ensure he doesn’t leave too much space for Antony.

Sebastien Haller v Jordan Teze

Can Haller get a goal on his Ajax debut? It will be down to Teze and Olivier Boscagli to keep the Ivory Coast international quiet if he starts or comes on in the second half.

Donyell Malen v Perr Schuurs

Schuurs has been prone to errors this season and has been easily passed by forwards throughout the campaign. On Sunday he will have the task of stopping Malen, whose pace and direct running could cause him countless issues.

The first big clash of the season could be a classic

The KNVB purposely scheduled all the top of the table clashes for 2021 in the hope that fans may have been able to attend. However, the virus means the first game between title hopefuls will be played behind closed doors.

It should still be a fascinating game though with Ajax and PSV looking evenly matched this season.

The Two Dutch titans will be looking to strike the first big blow in the title race. Ajax will look to put the pressure on as always, but playing on the counter could play into PSV’s hands with the pace of Malen.

Antony, Haller and Dusan Tadic will be a handful for the PSV defence though, and both teams are likely to score.

The game is definitely unmissable.




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