Its 1st v 2nd in the Eredivisie on Sunday as PSV look to kill any lingering hopes Ajax have of reclaiming their title.

  • By Michael Bell
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000000000 ajapsvAfter a seven year wait for the title, and having to watch their Amsterdam rivals dominate the league for the last four seasons, PSV Eindhoven host Ajax on Sunday with the Eredivisie all but wrapped up. Results last week put PSV 14 points ahead of Ajax, and only a remarkable turn of events could prevent the Eredivisie shield returning to the Philips Stadion for the first time since 2008.

The tie on Sunday may have lost some of its excitement due to the title race being all but over, but it still promises to be an intriguing match as PSV look to assert their dominance, while Ajax play for pride and to avenge the 3-1 defeat to Phillip Cocu’s men in the Amsterdam Arena last August.

Both sides head into the match on the back of away trips in the Europa League midweek. PSV exited the competition in Russia after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Zenit, while Ajax reached the last 16 after blowing away Legia Warsaw 3-0 in Poland.

Team News

PSV will be without Karim Rekik again, but right back Santiago Arias returned to training on Saturday and could feature ahead of Joshua Brenet. Stijn Schaars completed 70 minutes of Jong PSV’s match on Friday, but he is not ready for the first team yet.

Possible PSV XI: Zoet, Arias/Brenet, Willems, Isimat-Marin, Bruma, Guardado, Maher, Wijnaldum, Depay, Narsingh, De Jong

Frank de Boer has been boosted with the news that Davy Klaassen is fit enough for the trip to Eindhoven after stomach issues, but it remains to be seen if he heads straight back into the starting line-up

Possible Ajax XI: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Boilesen, Viergever, Veltman, Serero, Bazoer, Sinkgraven/Klaassen, Schone, Kishna, Milik

Head to head

The first recorded meeting of the two sides took place in 1931 with Ajax triumphing 4-2. Since then there has been another 127 meetings between the two rivals with Ajax winning 54, and PSV 51, while there has been 23 draws. In the Eredivisie PSV have the edge with 49 wins to Ajax’s 45.

The last meeting in Eindhoven went the way of PSV, with Tim Matvz, Jetro Willems, Oscar Hiljemark and Ji-Sung Park all scoring in an emphatic 4-0 win.

Key players

milik ajaArkaduisz Milik

After being dropped to the bench two weeks ago, Milik has responded well, scoring four goals in his last three games, and the in-form striker will be hoping to make the difference against PSV. Ajax are still to activate the clause in the striker’s contract which allows the club to sign him permanently and a performance against the league leaders would go a long way to Milik staying put in Amsterdam.

01 depay psvMemphis Depay

The PSV star has been unusually quiet over the past few weeks and could not prevent the club exiting the Europa League midweek. In what could be his final tie against Ajax before a move abroad, Depay will look to prove that he is still the superstar of the Eredivisie, so expect a big performance from the winger.

00000000000 bazRiechedly Bazoer

Bazoer was part of the PSV academy before swapping Eindhoven for Amsterdam in 2012. The 18-year-old is now firmly part of the Ajax first team, and has probably been the club’s most impressive player, earning a comparison to Yaya Toure recently. The youngster can expect a feirce reception from the Philips Stadion crowd, but his dominating midfield play may silence the stands.

willems oranje sjnJetro Willems

Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay gain most of the plaudits for PSV’s form this season, but Jetro Willems has also been immense at left back. No player has given more assists this season, and if Willems can get his crosses into the box for Luuk de Jong he may punish Ajax.

Who will triumph in Eindhoven?

PSV have been unstoppable in the league so far this season, especially in the Philips Stadion, and at their best they can easily sweep this Ajax team aside. Frank de Boer’s side showed improvements against Legia in the Europa League, but their league form recently has been woeful at times. Ajax were lucky to escape Tilburg with a draw against Willem II last week with their defence looking all over the place at times, and against PSV they will be picked off. If Willems, Depay and De Jong can connect, PSV should all but wrap up the Eredivisie title.

PSV 3-1 Ajax

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