Ajax host PSV on Saturday evening in what promises to be an entertaining encounter between two of the Eredivisie's finest teams.
Ajax made a great start to the 2010-11 season and held on their unbeaten status until they lost the home match against Utrecht early in October 2-0. The Godenzonen have since struggled to find their best form though and they've hit an absolute low in the past couple of weeks.
Teams such as Auxerre (Champions League), ADO Den Haag and AZ proved to be too strong for Ajax, while relegation candidates Excelsior managed to snatch a draw against the Amsterdam giants.
To make things even worse, club icon Johan Cruijff heavily criticized the club's board of directors and has demanded drastic changes within Ajax.
Martin Jol's men currently sit only joint third in the Eredivisie table and are trailing table toppers PSV by six points already. A loss against the Eindhoven side at the weekend could end Ajax's title ambitions for now.
Preparing For Life After Afellay
PSV have every reason to be satisfied with the way things are going so far in the 2010-11 campaign. They currently sit atop of the table with 33 points from 14 games and have lost only one game so far.
They'll be eager to pick up the full three points at the weekend in order to push Ajax out of the title race for now, but despite the importance of the upcoming game, Saturday's match was not the talk of the town in Eindhoven in the past couple of days.
The imminent departure of Ibrahim Afellay to Barcelona made all the headlines in both Dutch and Spanish media this week and PSV could face a difficult task to find a worthy replacement for the versatile midfielder this winter.
The Eindhoven side will have to shift their attention back to the football pitch at the weekend though if they are to pick up a good result in the Amsterdam ArenA.
Head coach Martin Jol will still have to make do without the services of back-up goalie Kenneth Vermeer due to injury, while playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro is still unavailable as well. Left back Thimothee Atouba is on his way back after a lengthy injury lay-off, but lacks match rhythm and isn't likely to feature.
Experienced centre back Andre Ooijer will miss the match against his former team due to suspension. The defender got a two-match ban following his red card against AZ last week.
PSV gaffer Fred Rutten doesn't have many injury worries ahead of the away match against Ajax. Full-back Stanislav Manolev is doubtful due to a recurring groin injury, while young glovesman Jeroen Zoet will miss the match as well.
Furthermore, Serbian defender Jagos Vukovic is unavailable at the weekend due to suspension.