Ajax head coach John van ‘t Schip gave his press conference ahead of the Conference League game against Aston Villa.

Ajax hosts the Premier League side in Amsterdam on Thursday evening and van ‘t Schip confirmed that they will be playing a back five once again for the clash.

Ahmetcan Kaplan will retain his place in the starting line-up with Van ‘t Schip saying, “He has played a number of games in the second after long absence due to his injury, he needed time to get into a certain rhythm. He was sometimes changeable, but you could see that he is a reliable, good defender. I think in combination with Hato and Rensch it was also good in the past game (2-0 win v Utrecht).”

Looking at their opponents, he added, “They can play on possession, but also very directly. When pressure is given, they quickly play for a long ball and are very dangerous. They have a strong striker (Ollie Watkins), who is fast and can hold the ball well. We have to take that into account.”

However, Van ‘t Schip hopes Ajax will show no fear, “We don’t want to give away too much and we want to continue what we’re doing. The opponent is quite strong, they are a good team in all areas. If it pushes us back, you will have to defend. But we want to have the ball as much as possible. We have to remain very concentrated, because if you lose the ball in places where you are vulnerable, they punish it right away.”

Van ‘t Schip confirmed that they will be without Steven Bergwijn and Steven Berghuis for the match.

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