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UEFA Champions League

  • 7 December 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
  • Referee: Manuel Jorge Neves Moreira de Sousa
  • • Attendance: 51557
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Ajax - Real Madrid Preview: Draw enough to send hosts through to knockout stages for first time since 2005

Ajax - Real Madrid Preview: Draw enough to send hosts through to knockout stages for first time since 2005

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Frank de Boer's men welcome the Spanish table-toppers, who have already sealed the group up, as they look for the point that will be enough to see them into the next stage


PROBABLE LINE-UPS

AJAX

Vermeer
V' der Wiel, Alderw'd, Vertonghen, Anita
Enoh, Eriksen,
Janssen
Sulejmani
, Lodeiro, Ebecilio
REAL MADRID

Adan
Arbeloa, Albiol, Varane, Coentrao
Xabi Alonso, Sahin
Altintop, Kaka, Callejon
Benzema

Ajax coach Frank de Boer will still have to make do without the services of defenders Nicolai Boilesen and Bruno Silva due to injury, while midfielder Siem de Jong and striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson are unavailable as well. Furthermore, winger Derk Boerrigter is doubtful due to ongoing back problems and is unlikely to feature.

However, full-back Gregory van der Wiel is expected to return to the match squad after a brief injury lay-off and will start at right back, while Dmitry Bulykin could also make his comeback to the match squad again.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is expected to rest several key players for Wednesday's encounter at the Amsterdam ArenA, meaning that reserves such as Antonio Adan, Raul Albiol and Hamit Altintop could all get some playing time.

Full-back Alvaro Arbeloa hasn't featured since suffering a hamstring injury in the 3-2 win at Valencia on November 19, but has resumed regular training and could return to the starting XI. Kaka made his comeback from injury against Sporting Gijon and is likely to feature from the start against Ajax.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Ajax have collected only five yellow cards so far, the lowest total in the competition.
  • The meeting with Madrid will mark a year and one day since Frank de Boer replaced Martin Jol at the helm; his first game was a 2-0 Champions League victory over AC Milan on 8 December 2010.
  • Ajax were beaten 4-0 at home by Madrid in the 2010-11 edition of the Champions League, despite the fact that the guests ended the match with nine man after red cards for Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos.
  • Real Madrid are the only team that have been able to find the net against Ajax in Europe this season.
  • The Blancos are just one win shy of their club record of 15 consecutive victories in all competitions, set in 1960-61.
  • Madrid recorded their 250th win in Uefa competitions on matchday five.
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Players to watch

K. Vermeer

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Vermeer has had his fair share of criticism in Amsterdam since replacing Maarten Stekelenburg between the sticks at Ajax, but the goalkeeper single-handedly kept his side's chances of reaching the knockout stages alive with a superb performance in Lyon. The former Netherlands Under-21 star will be keen to put in a another strong display in order to seal the deal against Madrid.

N. Şahin

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Turkey international had high hopes ahead of his move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid, but a knee injury has prevented him from making an impact at his new club so far. Sahin will probably get the chance to prove his worth in the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday, and the holding midfielder will be desperate to show that he has what it takes to succeed at Madrid.

Editor's Prediction

The Amsterdam side know that a draw will be enough to book their ticket for the knockout stages, while even a small loss will be enough to stay ahead of Olympique Lyonnais. However, Real Madrid have been in absolutely stunning form in the past few months and although the guests are expected to rest some key players, they still have plenty of individual talent. They should win, but Ajax may still progress.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Ajax

Real Madrid

Wins
0
0
5
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

AFC Ajax AJX
AFC Ajax Ajax
Draw
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol Real Madrid
87%

Top 3 Predictions

AFC Ajax AJX
0 - 3
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
AFC Ajax AJX
0 - 2
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
AFC Ajax AJX
1 - 3
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA

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