|Manchester United training in Amsterdam ArenA|
As you can easily imagine, it will be very difficult for Ajax to will this game, despite the fact that this is their home game. First of all, too many players are injured now and they themselves are not in good form. Second, Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world, although they were eliminated from the Champions League. But I hope Ajax can show their own style of football in this match and can score at least one goal. If they happened to win, all soccer fans would be astonished.
Anyway, it will nonetheless be interesting to see how Ajax will play this match.
Ajax will have to do without Janssen and Enoh. So it remains to be seen who will play in midfield. Furthermore, coach De Boer suggested in his press interview that Bulykin would not feature this match. Bulykin is strong in the air and can show a good performance in Eredivisie games, but in front of the tall and strong defenders of United, he will be powerless. De Boer did not reveal the name of the start striker, so I am wondering what the starting line-up will be.
You can think of several possible patterns.
- Anita, Aissati and Eriksen in midfield and De Jong at central forward
- Aissati, Erikesen and De Jong in midfield and Lodeiro at central forward
- Eriksen, De Jong and Klaassen in midfield and Lodeiro at central forward
Of course there are many other possibilities, but for me personally, I want to see the second one. One Japanese football magazine explains the tactics of Ajax by pointing out that with De Jong or Lodeiro (originally a midfielder) at central forward, Ajax can make a "11 vs 9" situation. The opponents' central defenders tend to play side by side, so De Jong or Lodeiro can utilize the space in front of the center backs when he takes back to receive a pass. If De Boer decides to use Boilesen, who has just come back from a long-term injury, Anita is more likely to be playing as a midfielder.
Having said that, my prediction for Ajax's victory is... around 15%. Don't take this serious, this percentage includes my wish for their victory as well. But I hope the game will be an exciting one anyways.