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Ajax returns in the Champions League after a five-year absence. The club from Amsterdam finished last season second in the Eredivisie and had to qualify for the Champions League. They beat PAOK Saloniki in two matches before defeating Dynamo Kiev.
The weakness of Ajax is that they have a very young team. Most of the players are young, but also  featured in the World Cup in South Africa. Players like Maarten Stekelenburg, Demy de Zeeuw and Gregory van der Wiel even made it to the final. Ajax also have Luis Suarez and Nicolas Lodeiro who made it to the semi-finals with Uruguay.. So even thought they don’t have any experience in the Champions League, they know how to play at a a high level in pressure filled situations.
Ajax have a great attack with Luis Suarez and Mounir el Hamdaoui. So that is their strength. But the defence is not that strong.
The star and key player of Ajax is Luis Suarez. Last season he scored over 50 goals in all competitions and also had about 25 assists. Beside him Ajax bought Mounir El Hamdaoui who was the top scorer in the Eredivisie in the 2008-09 season, so goals won’t be a problem. Also Maarten Stekelenburg is a very important player for Ajax. He was in good shape in the World Cup and everyone at Ajax was afraid that he would leave during the transfer window. But he stayed and already showed in the competition how important he is for Ajax.
Martin Jol has been the trainer of Ajax since 2009. He is very important for the club. At the beginning he started with players that Marco van Basten had bought. But Jol said that some of these players weren’t good enough for Ajax. He spoke about a legacy left by Van Basten. He knew to keep the key players together, supplemented by Demy de Zeeuw and Mounir El Hamdaoui.
In the first season under Jol, Ajax scored more then hundred goals and were unbeaten for a long time in the Eredivisie. Ajax normally play with Stekelenburg in goal, four defenders (Van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Anita), three midfielders (De Zeeuw, Enoh and De Jong at ‘10’) and three attackers (Suarez, El Hamdaoui and Emanuelson). In the Netherlands, Ajax scores very easily, but there are question marks whether they can do it in the Champions League.
The biggest success in years is reaching the Champions League. The victory on Dynamo Kiev was celebrated as like they have already won the Champions League. Last season Ajax was very close to win the Eredivisie, but Twente had a few points more. Ajax did win 1 price last season: the KNVB Beker. But in the history of the Champions League, Ajax is a big name. Ajax did win the Champions League for 4 times (1971, 1972, 1973 and 1995).

The Amsterdam ArenA holds with 51, 715 spectators and is the biggest stadium in Holland. In 1998, the stadium hosted the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus. It was designed by architect Rob Schuurman.

Without a doubt Luis Suarez. Without him Ajax is less dangerous. Last season he was important in almost every Ajax-goal. He said Ajax is in his heart and the fans of Ajax have Suarez in theirs as well. He is the captain of the team. Also Martin Jol is very popular in Amsterdam.
Ajax are in a very difficult group with Real Madrid, AC Milan and Auxerre. We think that Ajax will finish third in the group as Real Madrid and AC Milan are just too strong. Ajax must beat Auxerre twice and hope that AC Milan or Real Madrid have a bad day in the Amsterdam ArenA.

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