MX23RW : Monday, May 17 13:48:31| >> :120:5728:5728:
Apr 22, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Amsterdam Arena
AjaxAjax
1-1
UtrechtFC Utrecht
Alvarez (70')
Kudus (53'), Tagliafico (87')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Gustafson (13' pen.)

Preview: Ajax vs. FC Utrecht - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Eredivisie clash between Ajax and FC Utrecht, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ajax play host to FC Utrecht on Thursday evening knowing that victory will put them on the brink of winning the Eredivisie title.

Meanwhile, the visitors, who currently sit in seventh position, realistically require maximum points if they want to remain in the hunt for a Europa League place.


Match preview

Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Having been eliminated from the Europa League at the quarter-final stage, Ajax have fallen short in their bid to win the treble this season.

However, defeating Vitesse in the KNVB Beker final at the weekend helped ease that disappointment, putting the club on the brink of sealing a domestic double by the end of the week.

Victories over Utrecht and AZ Alkmaar will confirm their second successive title, reward for already winning 23 of their 28 top-flight fixtures since the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Erik ten Hag was left disappointed with the level of performances against Heerenveen and RKC Waalwijk, his side only prevailing by one-goal margins.

Nevertheless, Sebastien Haller got back on the goal trail during those fixtures, taking his return to eight goals from 13 appearances since his January move from West Ham United.

From Utrecht's perspective, they will relish the opportunity to record a shock result having recently moved up to seventh position in the table.

Rene Hake will demand more from his players with a top-five finish still a target, but he will acknowledge that his side are heavy underdogs ahead of the game at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Letting slip an early lead against rivals Feyenoord is likely to prove decisive in the hunt for the Europa League, although Hake's side still have the 4-1 triumph at ADO Den Haag fresh in their memories.

Top goalscorer Sander van de Streek has failed to get on the scoresheet in his last three outings.

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

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

FC Utrecht Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L



Team News

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

Ten Hag may give consideration to resting a number of Ajax players with AZ to come three days later.

Perr Schuurs and David Neres are among the players who could be drafted into the starting lineup, but Daley Blind remains absent through injury.

With his squad well rested after an 11-day break from action, Utrecht boss Hake could stick with the side which started against Feyenoord.

Giovanni Troupee is in contention for a recall, while Eljero Elia was lively during his late appearance as a substitute in the previous fixture.

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

FC Utrecht possible starting lineup:
Oelschlagel; Avest, Maarel, Janssen, Warmerdam; Overeem, Maher; Kerk, Gustafson, Boussaid; Streek


SM words green background

We say: Ajax 3-0 FC Utrecht

Now left to concentrate on retaining the league title, Ajax have no excuses when it comes to claiming the top-flight crown.

We expect the home side to cruise to victory in this contest, registering a clean sheet in the process.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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 1.5:data


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How you voted: Ajax vs Utrecht

Ajax
85.7%
Draw
8.2%
FC Utrecht
6.1%
49
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CAjax33274299227785
2PSV EindhovenPSV33218473343971
3AZ AlkmaarAZ33208570412968
4Vitesse33187851351661
5Feyenoord331511761362556
6FC UtrechtUtrecht331313751401152
7Groningen33148114036450
8Sparta RotterdamSparta33128134747044
9Heracles33128134248-644
10Fortuna SittardSittard33125164956-741
11Heerenveen33912124247-539
12FC Twente33911134548-338
13PEC Zwolle33811144353-1035
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3379173352-1930
15Willem II3377193867-2928
16EmmenEmmen3369183668-3227
17VVV-VenloVVV-Venlo3365224387-4423
18ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag33410192773-4622

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