On Wednesday night, 20:45 CEST, it’s time for Ajax’ next big match. After a really bad week wherein Ajax got knocked out of the Europa League by Getafe and lost in the Eredivisie versus AZ. This time we face FC Utrecht in the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup and FC Utrecht away is always a difficult game. Will it be the same this time?
Ajax got completely outplayed last Sunday, again. A smarter, more efficient and deadly AZ won quite easily in Amsterdam. It’s now time for Ajax to turn the tides, and what is better than to get going with a cup win versus FC Utrecht?
FC Utrecht has been doing alright so far this season. They’re in 6th place in the Eredivisie and they’re in the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup. That being said the last time Ajax and FC Utrecht faced each other Ajax completely dominated them. A 0-4 victory with two goals by van de Beek and one by Tadic and Martínez each. Utrecht was completely unable to fight back in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, but this time it’s at Utrecht’s home ground.
FC Utrecht also hasn’t been doing all that great the last few weeks. The absolute low point was the loss versus RKC last weekend. FC Utrecht manager, and ex-Ajax player, van den Brom: ‘If we deliver the kind of energy as we did on Sunday we’re a really weak squad.’ He also noticed that Ajax has a few weaknesses and will be looking to exploit those: ‘AZ showed on Sunday how to approach Ajax in order to be successful. The same goes for Getafe, who did it in a completely different way, just like Heracles did. But the big constant is playing from a closed organisation and gambling on your fast attackers. We also have those.’
We only expect one different name in the starting line-up compared to last Sunday versus AZ. We think that Traoré will be back as a striker, this means that Tadic will move to the wings again. Ziyech will go back to the ’10’ position and that means that there’s no longer a starting place for Carel Eiting.
Expected line-up Ajax: Onana; Dest, Schuurs, Blind, Tagliafico; Van de Beek, Ziyech, Martinez; Tadic, Traoré, Promes