MX23RW : Monday, September 27 17:08:46| >> :120:30364:30364:
Apr 25, 2021 at 1.30pm UK at Amsterdam Arena
AZAZ Alkmaar
Klaassen (66', 90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Karlsson (42')

Preview: Ajax vs. AZ Alkmaar - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ajax play host to AZ Alkmaar on Sunday afternoon knowing that victory could be enough to retain the Eredivisie title.

However, if third-placed AZ prevail at the Johan Cruyff Arena, the lead at the top of the standings will be cut to nine points with four matches remaining.

Match preview

Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Ahead of Thursday's home fixture with FC Utrecht, everyone associated with Ajax was expecting their 24th top-flight victory of the season.

However, for just the sixth time since September, the champions dropped points on the domestic scene, being held to a 1-1 draw after failing to overturn Simon Gustafson's early penalty.

Requiring just four points from five games, Ajax should still ease to yet another Eredivisie crown, but Erik ten Hag will want to do so in style rather than stumbling over the line.

They could achieve that goal with an improved performance against one of their rivals, who have been left encouraged by Ajax netting just four times in 270 minutes of league action.

One of those efforts came from the penalty spot, while January arrival Sebastien Haller has scored just three goals from his last eight appearances in all competitions.

Rather than making any sort of a challenge for the league title, AZ are solely focused on trying to finish ahead of PSV Eindhoven for the second Champions League place.

With five games remaining, only goal difference separates the two sides, and PSV have the potentially-decisive bonus of having already played all their fixtures against the top five.

While Pascal Jansen will be happy enough being the underdogs, there will be an acceptance that defeat on Sunday would hand a clear advantage to their nearest rivals during the run-in.

On the plus side, AZ head into this encounter having won their last four league fixtures for the loss of just one goal, going seven halves of football since Albert Gudmundsson's own goal against FC Twente on March 13.

Ajax Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Ajax form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Ajax's Perr Schuurs does not agree with that in the workplace on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Ten Hag will almost certainly make at least one change to his Ajax XI with Davy Klaassen in line to replace Mohammed Kudus.

Perr Schuurs is also an option in defence, but Ten Hag could stick to the solitary alteration for this contest.

Teun Koopmeiners serves the second of a three-match ban, meaning that Jansen could stick with the side which defeated Sparta Rotterdam on April 10.

Despite scoring as a substitute in the last fixture, Dani de Wit is expected to remain among the replacements.

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Stekelenburg; Rensch, Timber, Martinez, Tagliafico; Klaassen, Alvarez, Gravenberch; Neres, Haller, Tadic

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Svensson, Letschert, Martins Indi, Wijndal; Midtsjo, Clasie; Stengs, Gudmundsson, Karlsson; Boadu

SM words green background

We say: Ajax 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

After their disappointing result in midweek, we expect Ajax to come out firing on all cylinders. While AZ will make things difficult for the home side, Ten Hag's men could edge their way to victory, potentially with a late goal.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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AZ Alkmaar's Teun Koopmeiners pictured in February 2020
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Liverpool 'identify Koopmeiners as Wijnaldum replacement'
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
2Willem II7511107316
4PSV EindhovenPSV75021710715
5FC UtrechtUtrecht74211751214
6FC Twente7412139413
12AZ AlkmaarAZ6204111106
13Sparta RotterdamSparta7133614-86
14Go Ahead Eagles7205615-96
15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk7124912-35
17Fortuna SittardSittard6123613-75
18PEC Zwolle7016213-111

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