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Ajax - Real Madrid Preview: Dutch champions rekindle rivalry with familiar foes
Frank de Boer's side were eliminated at this stage of the tournament by the visitors in each of the last two seasons and will hope to do better this time around
By Karthick Arvinth
Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind
De Jong, Poulsen, Eriksen
Sana, Babel, Boerrigter
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Di Maria, Modric, Ronaldo
Ajax could name the same team that beat Twente at the weekend for Wednesday's Champions League encounter with Real Madrid at the Amsterdam Arena.
South African midfielder Thulani Serero misses out because of his continuing groin injury, while Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is sidelined with a shoulder problem.
Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa are set to make returns to the Real Madrid starting line-up after being rested on the bench for Sunday's 5-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Ajax are on a 12-match unbeaten run at the Amsterdam Arena in all competitions (W11, D1). Their last home defeat came against Manchester United in the Europa League in February.
- The Dutch side's overall home record against Spanish opposition is W8, D3, L4, but they have won only one of their last seven games against Primera Division clubs.
- Ajax have failed to score in their last three Champions League outings.
- Real Madrid have beaten Ajax home and away in each of the last two seasons in the Champions.
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Top 3 Predictions
Ajax 0-3 Real Madrid CF
- 20.69 %
Ajax 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 14.57 %
Ajax 0-2 Real Madrid CF
- 8.42 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 4, 2012||Real Madrid CF 4 - Ajax 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 3, 2012||Ajax 1 - Real Madrid CF 4|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 7, 2011||Ajax 0 - Real Madrid CF 3|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Sep 27, 2011||Real Madrid CF 3 - Ajax 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 23, 2010||Ajax 0 - Real Madrid CF 4|
|May 12, 2013||Groningen 0 - Ajax 2||NED1|
|May 5, 2013||Ajax 5 - Willem II 0||NED1|
|Apr 27, 2013||NAC 0 - Ajax 2||NED1|
|Apr 19, 2013||Ajax 1 - Heerenveen 1||NED1|
|Apr 14, 2013||PSV 2 - Ajax 3||NED1|
|34||Ricardo van Rhijn||Defender|
|10||Siem de Jong||Midfielder|
|-||Fabian Mitchel Sporkslede||Defender|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
Dubbed by some quarters as the next Andres Iniesta, Eriksen has risen rapidly over the past two years to become one of the most exciting young players in world football. The 20-year-old is a natural playmaker with a knack for drifting into gaps in the opposition half and bringing the wide men and forwards into play with instinctive, one-touch passes.
The Portugal captain struck his first hat-trick of the season to power his team to an emphatic win over Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend. Ronaldo has enjoyed playing against Ajax in the past, netting three times in his last two appearances against the Eredivisie side.
Despite fielding a fairly inexperienced squad, Ajax possess a number of technically sound players who can keep the ball well. But they will struggle to impose their style on a side that is packed with pace and power and is devastating on the counterattack.