Tomorrow we have an Easter treat as Ajax face PEC Zwolle in an eagerly anticipated KNVB Cup final. Zwolle are looking to win their first major honour in the clubs 103 year history in the game, whereas Frank de Boer is looking to win the domestic trophy for the first time in his 4 year tenure as Ajax manager. So which players should each side fear the most?

  • By Harry Taylor
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schone aHere are the candidates that I feel will inflict the most damage to the opposition.

Lasse Schöne

The 27-year old has enjoyed his finest season at the Godenzonen, he has been in impeccable form scoring 13 goals in all competitions and 3 of those have come in his 4 games played in the KNVB Cup. With Christian Eriksen departing in the summer, Ajax appeared to lack someone who could deliver a deadly set-piece, however Schöne has stepped up and taken that role and his team have reaped the rewards as he has set up and scored many goals from his set-pieces, most notably his free-kick that secured his teams place in the final against AZ Alkmaar. Schöne is not just a goal-scorer and dead-ball specialist for his team, he also contributes heavily to his team through assists, and he has managed 10 this season, showing that he is vital for his team in all aspects of his play.

Mateusz Klich

The Polish international has been instrumental for the Blauwvingers in midfield, he sets the tempo for the way in which his side play and if he is given the time and space he needs then he can punish Ajax by setting up attack after attack. Klich is technically a very sound player, he also reads the game in an intelligent way always appearing to make the correct decision on a consistent basis. Although Klich isn’t a deadly threat in front of goal, he has the capabilities to set up his opponents, with 9 assists this season and astonishingly he managed 4 assists in one game, showing how much of a threat he can be when he is on top form.

Davy Klaassen

The 21-year old this season has come back from an injury that kept him out of action for over 6 months last year and meant he only featured in two games last season. This season however has been a completely different story, many people had spoken out about Klaassen being the next big thing from De Toekomst and he has proven that his followers knew what they were talking about. Klaassen has played mainly in midfield this season, being the more attacking one out of the trio in midfield, and in this position he has relished as he has knocked in 10 goals this season, making him tied as Ajax’s top goal scorer in the league. Areas in which he excels at include, finishing, through balls, tackling and excellent runs from deep, these impressive attributes have seen him be compared to the great Dennis Bergkamp. And with the confidence that Klaassen poses he will most certainly be a huge threat to Zwolle who will have to be at their best to stand a chance at nullifying the young Dutchman.

Fred Benson

The Ghanaian born striker has been Zwolle’s main source for finding the back of the net in both the league and the KNVB Cup this campaign as he is their top goal scorer with 3 in 3 in the competition. The forward has been inconsistent with his form over the course of the season, but when he is on his game he is a cool finisher that will put away any chances that come his way. Benson is an intelligent player and if he is to play off the last man he has the necessary pace to compete with the two Ajax defenders and put them under pressure. His main problem though is that he tends to go under the radar when playing against the top teams, PSV being the only notable top team he has scored against this season; however with it being the clubs first cup final in 37 years I’m sure Ron Jans will have his main man fired up for the big occasion.

So, these are the players that I believe will make the difference, the main area in which the game will be won and lost is in the midfield as both teams possess highly skilled players that can cause serious damage if they are given the time to do so. However all will be revealed tomorrow and as both teams adopt a style of football that is all about playing on the attack at all times with flair and panache we are guaranteed a match full of action from the first whistle til the very last.

Harry Taylor (30 Posts)