MX23RW : Friday, April 16 23:01:08| >> :600:627020:627020:
Jan 31, 2021 at 3.45pm UK at AFAS Stadion, Alkmaar
AZAZ Alkmaar
FT(HT: 0-1)
Antony (14'), Klaassen (60'), Neres (90+4')

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

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

AZ Alkmaar host the league leaders Ajax on Sunday in what is undoubtedly the standout fixture in round 20 of the Eredivisie.

The sides faced off 11 days ago in the last 16 of this season's KNVB-Beker, where Ajax came out on top in a 1-0 win courtesy of a Zakaria Labyad strike.

Match preview

AZ Alkmaar's Albert Guomundsson celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in October 2020© Reuters

Following a 1-0 home defeat, AZ Alkmaar finally saw their eight-game unbeaten league run come to an end at the hands of FC Utrecht on Wednesday.

Pascal Jansen's men have failed to build upon an impressive 3-2 victory away at Feyenoord last Sunday, and are now 10 points adrift in the title race.

However, a victory this weekend would keep their hopes alive albeit faintly, while a defeat could be the final nail in their coffin.

The Cheeseheads will be hopeful of a repeat of last season's meeting at the AFAS Stadion, where they triumphed over Ajax.

AZ were behind Sunday's visitors only on goals scored before the league was abruptly ended due to coronavirus last season.

Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Ajax picked up their fifth consecutive win in all competitions on Thursday by defeating 17th-placed Willem II 3-1 at home.

With the exception of a 2-2 draw against PSV Eindhoven to begin the year, Erik ten Hag's men have a perfect record since the turn of the year as they go in search of a 35th league title.

As things stand, they currently hold a four-point advantage over second-placed PSV in the Eredivisie table, and there is still work to do in ensuring that the title remains in Amsterdam this campaign.

De Godenzonen have the division's best record away from home, losing only to Groningen in all their Eredivisie games away from the Johan Cruyff ArenA this term.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form: DDWWWL
AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions): DWWLWL

Ajax Eredivisie form: DDWWWW
Ajax form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Team News

Ajax players celebrate scoring against FC Midtjylland on November 25, 2020© Reuters

The departure of Klaas Jan Huntelaar to Schalke 04 is expected to translate into more opportunities in the first team for Brian Brobbey, who came off the bench to supply a goal and an assist in the win over Willem II.

Jurrien Timber and Edson Alvarez were both given a runout in midweek, but they are expected to drop back to the bench for this one.

Ron Vlaar has made a return to the bench following his recovery from a muscle injury, but AZ are not rushing him back into action just yet.

The home side will also have to make do with the absence of Dani De Wit, who remains on the sidelines with an ankle problem.

Jonas Svensson is making steady progress towards a return to action, but for now, Yukinari Sugawara will continue to fill in for him.

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Wijndal, Martins Indi, Hatzidiakos, Sugawara; Stengs, Koopmeiners, Midtsjo; Karlsson, Boadu, Gudmundsson

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Onana; Tagliafico, Blind, Schuurs, Mazraoui; Gravenberch, Promes, Klaassen; Tadic, Haller, Antony

SM words green background

We say: AZ Alkmaar 1-2 Ajax

Games between these two are usually tightly contested, and we expect that trend to continue in this one, but Ajax look more likely to secure the victory due to their superiority in player quality.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Ajax's Edson Alvarez reacts on November 5, 2019
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2PSV EindhovenPSV29187464303461
3AZ AlkmaarAZ29187466382861
7FC UtrechtUtrecht28111074536943
9FC Twente29910104240237
11Sparta RotterdamSparta2997134046-634
12Fortuna SittardSittard29104154052-1234
13PEC Zwolle29711113846-832
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk2968152744-1726
15Willem II2957173161-3022
18ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag29210172264-4216

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