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Eredivisie

  • November 20, 2010
  • • 19:45
  • • Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
  • Referee: B. Kuipers
  • • Attendance: 50082
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Eredivisie Preview: Ajax - PSV

Eredivisie Preview: Ajax - PSV

Ajax host PSV on Saturday evening in what promises to be an entertaining encounter between two of the Eredivisie's finest teams.

Difficult Times In Amsterdam

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.

TEAM NEWS

Ajax

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

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.

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Players to watch

M. El Hamdaoui

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Unlike in previous years, Ajax are no longer dependant on the class of skipper Luis Suarez to proved the Amsterdam side with goals. New signing Mounir el Hamdaoui has quickly adapted to his new surroundings since joining Ajax from AZ last summer and the Morocco international is the leading topscorer of the Eredivisie with eleven goals. El Hamdaoui could cause the PSV defence all kinds of trouble on Saturday with his intelligent movement and technical skills.

Jonathan Reis

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Jonathan Reis has been one of the revelations of the season with his outstanding performances for PSV in the 2010-11 campaign. The Brazilian forward has so far scored seven goals in six Eredivisie appearances and he'll be keen to add to his tally in the Amsterdam ArenA. Jonathan is expected to return to the starting line-up after a two-match ban and head coach Fred Rutten will be hopeful that the striker justifies his inclusion.

Editor's Prediction

Ajax have been in far from impressive form in the past couple of weeks, while PSV have looked rather strong this season. Nevertheless, the Amsterdam side have a great home record against their Eindhoven based counterparts and they'll be eager to return to winning ways on Saturday. The in form Maarten Stekelenburg could very well prove to be too much of an obstacle for the PSV front line.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Ajax

PSV

Wins
3
0
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

AFC Ajax AJX
AFC Ajax Ajax
Draw
PSV Eindhoven PSV
PSV Eindhoven PSV
56%
16%
28%

Top 3 Predictions

AFC Ajax AJX
2 - 1
PSV Eindhoven PSV
AFC Ajax AJX
1 - 0
PSV Eindhoven PSV
AFC Ajax AJX
3 - 1
PSV Eindhoven PSV

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