Years of club rivalry, fan violence and racist chanting: it’s that time of season folks. Ajax and Feyenoord face off on Sunday but with title implications. Feyenoord lead by three points in first place ahead of second place Ajax.
Feyenoord face Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday before their Sunday bout in their Europa League round of 16 second leg tie. Questions will be asked as to what team and formation will be deployed.
Ajax – Feyenoord in 4 days…
Who needs 📸 from the boys?
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) March 15, 2023
Despite the tie being neatly poised at 1-1, Feyenoord decimated Donetsk with nothing to show for it. Arne Slot’s men racked up 21 shots with a huge amount of possession.
Feyenoord are currently celebrating a stunning rich vain of form. Ajax might need to be spared a plate or two of that to stand a chance on Sunday.
The dutch rivals also registered a 2-1 win over FC Volenham in Eredivisie to make it 19 games in all competitions unbeaten. Wowee.
Feyenoord have also only lost just one of their 25 league games this season and just three in all competitions. Double wowee.
They have also won five of their last six games. Hopefully that’s more than enough stats to melt your mouth.
However, there are injury concerns for Feyenoord. They will be without first choice keeper, Justin Bijlow due to a broken wrist. Timon Wellenreuther will be expected to take his place against Shakhtar Donetsk but his status is known for Sunday.
A press conference will further confirm the availability of Patrik Walemark and Qunten Timber due to thigh and leg injuries respectively.
‘Supporters, spelers, staf, scouting; het is een wisselwerking die ervoor zorgt dat we dit voor elkaar kunnen krijgen’
– 𝐀𝐫𝐧𝐞 𝐒𝐥𝐨𝐭#UEL
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord) March 15, 2023
Santiago Giminez, Orkun Kokcu and Danilo have fired on all cylinderes for Feyenoord with all smoking into double figures for goals this season.
Kudus effect, again…
Mohammed Kudus has been a revelation. One could argue he is the hottest transfer prospect in Europe ahead of transfer window that could see him leave Amsterdam.
The 22-year-old midfielder has 18 goals and 5 assists in 35 games. He also caught the eye of many with a fantastic return in Champions League: four goals and two assists in six games. Also, six Eredivisie goals in his last eight.
It would be foolish to think he won’t have a hand to play on Sunday. In fact, all of Ajax’s front four looked fantastic.
The link up was smooth. All were making runs into the box and with fluidity. They’re not the issue in this preview.
The Amsterdam giants have shipped five goals in their last six games. They have a defensive frailty which will not be able to improve overnight. John Heitinga has less than a week to remedy this before dipping into the tiger pit.
Sunday is a litmus test to see how far they’ve come but also how big the gap could be before they comes a top European side.
No doubt, a win on Sunday would mark a bit of a comeback given all the strife they have been through both on and off the pitch with a litany of issues: no structure due to no technical director, having their third manager in the space of six months and four of the first-team under the Ten Hag era.