thumbnail Hello,
Live

UEFA Champions League

  • December 4, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 57245
4
FT
1

Real Madrid - Ajax Preview: Frank de Boer's side look to clinch Europa League spot

Jose Mourinho's men have already booked their place in the last 16 and have secured second place, and face the Eredivisie champions who are fighting to stay in Europe

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

REAL MADRID

Casillas
Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Coentrao
Modric, Khedira
Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo
Benzema
AJAX

Vermeer
Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind
Poulsen, Enoh, Eriksen
 De Jong, Boerrigter
Hoesen

Jose Mourinho goes into the match knowing that their second place finish in Group D is secured. Due to their head-to-head results with Borussia Dortmund they cannot win the group, so the Real Madrid coach may opt to freshen up his starting XI.

It is unlikely to be a complete overhaul, but Raphael Varane has been impressive in his rare appearances this season, and may be given a starting berth at the back due to Alvaro Arbeloa's suspension. Sergio Ramos could be shifted out to right-back.

Xabi Alonso has been playing a lot of football recently and may be allowed to sit this one out, with Luka Modric ready to drop back into the deeper role in midfield.

Despite resting some faces, Mourinho will still want to end the Group Stage on a high, so expect big hitters Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to still feature.

Ajax, on the other hand, have plenty to play for. The Eredivisie champions are placed third in the group and find themselves one point ahead of Manchester City, and with a place in the Europa League up for grabs, they will need to put in a good performance at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ryan Babel is still sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, so there could be a chance in attack for Danny Hoesen, who scored in Ajax's 3-1 victory over PSV at the weekend.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • These two sides have met five times in the past three seasons and Madrid have won each game, most recently a 4-1 victory in Amsterdam in October.
  • Real Madrid's seven-game winning streak at home in the Champions League was ended by a 2-2 draw with Dortmund on matchday four.
  • Los Blancos' home record against teams from the Netherlands is W9 D1 L2.
  • Ajax have failed to win on any of their last five visits to Spain, losing four. Their last success was a 3-2 victory at Atletico Madrid in the 1996/97 season.
  • During four years as a Barcelona player between 1999 and 2003, Ajax coach Frank de Boer faced Madrid nine times in the Liga and the Champions League.
  • De Boer played under Madrid coach Jose Mourinho at Barcelona. The Portuguese was assistant to Louis van Gaal in the year 2000.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 4, 2012 Real Madrid CF 4 - Ajax 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 3, 2012 Ajax 1 - Real Madrid CF 4
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 7, 2011 Ajax 0 - Real Madrid CF 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 27, 2011 Real Madrid CF 3 - Ajax 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 23, 2010 Ajax 0 - Real Madrid CF 4
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1AdànGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
18Nacho FernándezDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
8KakáMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
7José Callejón Striker
13Jesús FernándezGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
6José RodríguezMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
21MorataStriker
-Denis CheryshevStriker
1Kenneth VermeerGoalkeeper
12Toby AlderweireldDefender
25Niklas MoisanderDefender
34Ricardo van RhijnDefender
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
23Christian EriksenMidfielder
10Siem de JongMidfielder
17Daley BlindDefender
-Derk BoerrigterStriker
-Danny HoesenStriker
35Viktor FischerStriker
-Jasper CillessenGoalkeeper
-Joël VeltmanDefender
-Mitchell DijksDefender
6Eyong EnohMidfielder
-Lasse SchöneMidfielder
-Tobias SanaStriker
37Jody LukokiStriker
Players to Watch
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
11 17 1 0
With Madrid already qualified, it is likely Ronaldo will aim to take on Ajax and look to swell his Champions League tally. With the Ballon d'Or votes coming up soon, he will want to impress on Europe's biggest stage.
Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The young midfielder has been one of Ajax's outstanding players in the Champions League so far this season and they will need to rely on him to provide creativity from the midfield. If he can play in a more advanced role and link up with the attackers, there is every chance Ajax could grab a goal.
Prediction
Ajax are going head-to-head with Manchester City for the Europa League place in the group, while Jose Mourinho's side have little to play for. However, the Eredivisie champions do not travel well in Spain, and the firepower of Madrid will be too much for them to handle.
Editor's Prediction
Ajax 0

From the web