MX23RW : Sunday, March 3 11:29:48| >> :120:68088:68088:
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Eredivisie | Gameweek 14
Dec 3, 2023 at 1.30pm UK
Sportpark De Weeren
1 - 2
Tavsan (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hlynsson (57'), Borges (88')

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

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

Ajax make the trip to NEC on Sunday afternoon looking to extend their unbeaten streak in the Eredivisie to five matches.

At a time when the Dutch giants have moved back up to eighth position in the standings, NEC are 14th after a run of five successive draws.

Match preview

Ajax Amsterdam interim coach John van't Schip before the match on November 9, 2023© Reuters

John van't Schip would have been no illusions over the size of his task at Ajax when being handed the reins until the end of the season, and it has become apparent that there will be no quick fix.

Despite 10 points coming from Ajax's last four fixtures in the Eredivisie, defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Marseille in the Europa League have resulted in their elimination from the competition.

Victory over AEK Athens in their concluding group fixture will lead to demotion to the Europa Conference League, yet the 4-3 reverse to Marseille on Thursday cemented their slump from the upper echelons of European football.

Ajax's priority remains on ensuring that they have continental action to look forward to in 2024-25, as they are still 12 points adrift of the top four in the table.

With a game in hand on many of the teams above them, Van't Schip will be optimistic that they can chase down the top three at the very least, particularly if they can continue to score at more than three goals per game under his watch in the league.

From NEC's perspective, they will be relishing the prospect of trying to cause an upset having avoided defeat in their last five league fixtures.

While each of those five matches have ended in draws, Roger Meijer will feel that his side have built a certain level of momentum, one of their two defeats in 10 coming at PSV Eindhoven.

For the most part of their recent draw-fest, NEC have been coming from behind to earn a share of the spoils, and they have also lost just twice in seven games at Goffertstadion.

Nevertheless, conceding 12 times in six games ahead of welcoming a free-scoring Ajax side is hardly ideal preparation as they look to pull clear of the bottom three.

NEC Eredivisie form:

Ajax Eredivisie form:

Ajax form (all competitions):

Team News

Ajax Amsterdam's Gaston Avila, Chuba Akpom and Jakov Medic during training on October, 2023© Reuters

Mees Hoedemakers and Mathias Ross came off the NEC substitutes' bench to contribute to their equaliser against Go Ahead Eagles last time out.

However, it may materialise that the pair stay among the replacements, barring any injury issues, with Philippe Sandler being withdrawn due to making his comeback from injury.

Elayis Tavran is an option to be recalled in the final third after only being kept in reserve on his return from suspension.

The likes of Ar'Jany Martha and Kristian Hlynsson may be restored to the Ajax XI after dropping down to the bench for the Marseille fixture.

Brian Brobbey overcame illness to play all but a few minutes of that fixture and should get the nod over Chuba Akpom, despite the Englishman netting his sixth goal in as many games in France.

NEC possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Van Rooij, Sandler, Nuytinck, Verdonk; Schone, Proper; Hansen, Mattsson, Baas; Ogawa

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Ramaj; Gaaei, Rensch, Hato, Martha; Tahirovic, Taylor; Berghuis, Hlynsson, Bergwijn; Akpom

SM words green background

We say: NEC 1-4 Ajax

Given the consistency that NEC have shown in avoiding defeat of late, this may not be one-way traffic. Nevertheless, Ajax have started to score a hatful of goals and we can only see the visitors ultimately prevailing by a wide margin.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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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