MX23RW : Saturday, April 17 17:48:22| >> :120:33248:33248:
Mar 7, 2021 at 11.15am UK at Amsterdam Arena
AjaxAjax
3-1
GroningenGroningen
Gravenberch (5'), Haller (54'), Tadic (77' pen.)
Kudus (48'), Klaassen (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Ajax vs. Groningen - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Ajax head into their fixture with Groningen on Sunday looking to strengthen their grip of top spot in the Eredivisie standings.

Meanwhile, the visitors have put together a four-match unbeaten streak in the Dutch top flight, moving the club to within three points of fourth position.


Match preview

Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Heading into the closing stages of last week's contest with rivals PSV Eindhoven, it appeared that Ajax were on the brink of losing their 11-match winning streak in all competitions and subsequently allowing PSV to get back into the title race.

However, having seen the hosts denied a second goal through VAR, the leaders netted a last-minute penalty through Dusan Tadic, delivering a hammer blow to their opponents.

While the gap remains just six points, there is a feeling that PSV have missed their chance to stay in the race for the top-flight crown, particularly having played a game more than Ajax.

Erik ten Hag's team are fully focused on winning the treble, a target made easier by their triumph over Heerenveen in the KNVB Beker semi-finals in midweek.

Ajax have now avoided defeat on the domestic scene since December 5 and it is difficult to see any of their upcoming opposition stopping them in their tracks.

From Groningen's perspective, they can take confidence from now possessing the second best defensive record in the division courtesy of their recent performances.

Just one goal has been shipped in four fixtures, leaving Danny Buijs's team with a record of just 24 strikes being conceded from as many matches this season.

The Trots van het Noorden also edged out Ajax in the reverse fixture back in October, a result which has contributed to Groningen holding one of the best returns at home.

However, as well as scoring just three goals in their most recent five fixtures, Groningen have also failed to win any of their last three away games.

Ajax Eredivisie form:
WWWWWD
Ajax form (all competitions):
WWWWDW

Groningen Eredivisie form:
WLWDDW

Team News

Nicolas Tagliafico in action for Ajax on February 20, 2020© Reuters

Ajax are again expected to be without defenders Noussair Mazraoui and Nicolas Tagliafico through injury.

Even with a Europa league last-16 tie against Young Boys on the horizon, Ten Hag is unlikely to name a weakened team for this game.

Buijs must decide whether to hand an opportunity to teenage striker Paulos Abraham, who scored his first senior goal off the substitutes' bench against Fortuna Sittard.

Jorgen Strand Larsen will expect to keep his place in the side providing that he has shaken off the knock which forced his withdrawal at half time.

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

Groningen possible starting lineup:
Padt; Dankerlui, Te Wierik, Itakura, Hintum; Kaam, Schreck; Cruz, Suslov, Hankouri; Larsen


SM words green background

We say: Ajax 3-0 Groningen

After their near-miss against PSV, complacency is unlikely to be a factor at Ajax for the remainder of the season. With that in mind, we are backing the home side to cruise to victory, their cause helped by a couple of early strikes.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag pictured in December 2020
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Sunday's Eredivisie predictions including PSV Eindhoven vs. Ajax
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Ajax28233286206672
2PSV EindhovenPSV29187464303461
3AZ AlkmaarAZ29187466382861
4Vitesse29175746281856
5Feyenoord29159558292954
6Groningen2913793533246
7FC UtrechtUtrecht28111074536943
8Heracles29116123543-839
9FC Twente29910104240237
10Heerenveen29910103940-137
11Sparta RotterdamSparta2997134046-634
12Fortuna SittardSittard29104154052-1234
13PEC Zwolle29711113846-832
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk2968152744-1726
15Willem II2957173161-3022
16VVV-VenloVVV-Venlo2964193975-3622
17EmmenEmmen2949163058-2821
18ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag29210172264-4216

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