Ajax - Borussia Dortmund Preview: Bundesliga champions look for point to seal qualification
Frank de Boer's side have never lost to a German opponent at home in the Champions League, but face stiff competition from one of the only teams unbeaten so far in the group stage
By Martin Macdonald
Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind
Sana, Schone, Boerrigter
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz
Something will have to give when Ajax welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday evening.
The Eredivisie champions hold a proud unbeaten record against German sides at home and will need to be at their best to continue that record against Jurgen Klopp’s men, who are undefeated in the group and will qualify with a win or a draw.
The hosts are sweating over the fitness of goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. He missed Saturday’s win over VVV-Venlo due to illness but returned to training on Sunday and could make the starting XI.
A certain omission from the squad will be forward Ryan Babel, who has been ruled out for several weeks after dislocating his right shoulder. Thulani Serero and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson are long-term absentees and are likely to miss the entire group stage.
Dortmund coach, Klopp, has the luxury of having the vast majority of his squad available for the trip to the Netherlands, and it is unlikely he will deviate from the starting XI that was so impressive against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Die Borussen were given a lift last week when Jakub Błaszczykowski made his return from an ankle injury for Poland against Uruguay. However, he may not oust Keven Grosskreutz from the starting line-up for the European tie.
|DID YOU KNOW?
- Ajax have posted 12 wins in 13 home games in Amsterdam against Bundesliga sides and have not tasted defeat.
- Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen has run 52,181m so far in the competition; more than any other player in the group stage.
- Niklas Moisander has completed 236 of his 280 attempted passes; only four players have managed more in the
- Dortmund are seeking their first away win in the
competition since beating AC Milan at San Siro in March 2003.
- The German side failed to score for the first time in 27 games on November 3, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by
- Roman Weidenfeller, Neven Subotic, Lukasz Piszczek, Marcel Schmelzer and Robert Lewandowski have played
all 360 minutes of Dortmund's group stage campaign so far.
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Top 3 Predictions
Ajax 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 17.65 %
Ajax 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
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Ajax 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 9.52 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||22/11/2012||Ajax 1 - Borussia Dortmund 4|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||19/09/2012||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Ajax 0|
|08/12/2013||Ajax 4 - NAC Breda 0||ERE|
|01/12/2013||ADO Den Haag 0 - Ajax 4||ERE|
|27/11/2013||Ajax 2 - FC Barcelona 1||UCL|
|24/11/2013||Ajax 3 - Heracles Almelo 0||ERE|
|11/11/2013||NEC Nijmegen 0 - Ajax 3||ERE|
|34||Ricardo van Rhijn||Defender|
|10||Siem de Jong||Midfielder|