Ajax vs Feyenoord Prediction, H2H, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips 02.04.2017
It has to be the most meaningful De Klassieker for a long time as Feyenoord head to capital Amsterdam where Ajax can either revive its title hopes or might as well observe celebrations of its biggest rival from a close range. Normally every clash involving names of Ajax and Feyenoord promises lot of action and hot atmosphere, however, this time stake is even greater. An upcoming classic between two of “De Grote Drie” (The Big Three) in the Netherlands won’t immediately affect on current Eredivisie positioning but it can surely carry its own impact over remaining six rounds thereafter.
H2H Stats: Ajax vs Feyenoord
Earlier within a current Eredivisie campaign Feyenoord took on Ajax at its “De Kuip” in Rotterdam. So the last Klassieker edition was during game week 10 on 23 October 2016 and has ended without a winner. Youth talent of Ajax and of Danish football Kasper Dolberg opened the score in the 55th minute, while experienced captain of Feyenoord Dirk Kuyt leveled thirty minutes later. Thus both sides have shared a point and hosts from Rotterdam surely regret they did not won, but on other hand Ajax may also feel regretful since they needed only few more minutes to save their lead.
Leaving the last league Klassieker aside, Feyenoord yet tries to win a Eredivisie game against its biggest domestic rival for more than five years. Latest win of Feyenoord over Ajax in the Eredivisie was on 29 January 2012, when John Guidetti scored a hat-trick for final 4-2 in Rotterdam.
Since then Ajax lost just once from Feyenoord and that happened in third round of the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) last season, when Ajax’s defender Joel Veltman has scored an own goal in stoppage time. Worst and most dramatic scenario of that fixture, but anyway, Ajax balances well with its own cup success – 3-1 from January 2014.
In the meantime Amsterdammers boast with five wins and four draws in last nine Eredivisie encounters with Feyenoord.
Eredivisie: Ajax vs Feyenoord 02.04.2017
After a two-week break for international football and an extremely frustrating result for the Netherlands in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifications (losing 2-0 in Bulgaria), Dutch football fans are eager for greater thrill. A game from such a significance arouses the spirits and we have all preconditions to expect a dynamic battle.
Ajax trails on six points from top and Peter Bosz finds himself in a must win situation. Otherwise that gap between both leading sides will remain too big and we must consider that remaining Eredivisie schedule looks more suitable for Feyenoord. Indeed, Ajax has an upcoming journey to Eindhoven to face PSV in end of April. Moreover, “de Godenzonen” are one of the last eight in the UEFA Europa League where they must prepare for two quarter-finals with Schalke 04 in next few weeks.
Feyenoord are completely focused upon their Eredivisie dream and Giovanni van Bronckhorst looks firm to leave his name in club’s history as a manager as well. Last time when Feyenoord lifted the Eredivisie trophy was back in the 1998–99 season and eighteen years later the dream seems to be closer than ever.
Feyenoord holds a decent lead seven rounds before end of the 2016-17 Eredivise season and if Rotterdammers earn something out of Amsterdam this will be a testimonial about their readiness. A tie will maintain same distance from six points but at the same time we should not forget about PSV, who are on two points from Ajax, respectively on eight behind Feyenoord.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Ajax has to seize from some notable absentees in Feyenoord where Giovanni van Bronckhorst will pick his group to Amsterdam without names of an injured quartet – Sven van Beek, Terence Kongolo, Eljero Elia and Bilal Basacikoglu. Besides van Beek who is a long-term absentee, van Bronckhorst should find most optimal replacements of the other three, but he has to deal with another huge blow. That is caused from a suspension of midfielder Tonny Vilhena who scored the winning goal over Heerenveen right before the break and also is one of the crucial names in Feyenoord.
Captain Dirk Kuyt seems to be a proper replacement for Vilhena in midfield, but injuries of Elia and Basacikoglu open a position up front for Kuyt. Under these circumstances both central midfielders Marko Vejinović and Renato Tapia are competing for a starting position in a trio alongside Karim El Ahmadi, and Jens Toornstra, but some medias are favouring another option. Bart Nieuwkoop can make his starting debut for Feyenoord as the 21-year-old right-back also plays as a midfielder.
An injured left-back Terence Kongolo should be replaced from someone among Lucas Woudenberg and Miquel Nelom, but latter is more likely to start. Giovanni van Bronckhorst has to make a choice for a starter between the sticks where former Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer competes with a summer signing Brad Jones.
Contrary to a selection headache that grips van Bronckhorst, Peter Bosz looks certain about his starting XI. The only question is related with situation around Kasper Dolberg, who is a doubt, so if he fails to recover on time we would see same trio used against Excelsior last round. Even if Ajax slipped and game ended with a draw (1-1), Peter Bosz can give another chance to Justin Kluivert who scored his first Eredivisie goal in that game.
Meanwhile, if Dolberg is not in the squad, presence of Bertrand Traore and Amin Younes in Ajax’s attacking trio looks without any alternative.
Joël Veltman and Kenny Tete are in contention for a starting position at the right-back but Veltman is usually first-option if he is fit enough.
Ajax vs Feyenoord Betting Prediction
Ajax are in a position they only need a mandatory win and everything less may be decisive for their title ambitions. We should not rule out any possible scenario, we all remember how Ajax lost the trophy in last round of the 2015-16 Eredivisie season, but a distance of six points (or more) is too much in that league.
We will see what will be Feyenoord’s approach here but our impressions are that Rotterdammers are not a team that relies on strong defending. Unquestionably, Ajax looks dangerous enough at home and this gives them an advantage here, but we are not really impressed by their defensive line anyhow.
All arguments make us fancy the currently suggested odds on “Both teams to score – Yes” and that market goes into our betting slip for Sunday afternoon. We expect at least a goal from both sides at the upcoming Eredivisie derby between Ajax and Feyenoord.
Venue: “Amsterdam ArenA”, Amsterdam.
Referee: Björn Kuipers.
Possible Lineups of Ajax and Feyenoord
AFC Ajax: André Onana – Daley Sinkgraven, Davinson Sánchez, Nick Viergever, Joël Veltman – Davy Klaassen, Lasse Schöne, Hakim Ziyech – Amin Younes, Bertrand Traore, Justin Kluivert. (4-3-3)
Feyenoord Rotterdam: Kenneth Vermeer – Rick Karsdorp, Eric Botteghin, Jan-Arie van der Heijden, Miquel Nelom – Bart Nieuwkoop, Karim El Ahmadi, Jens Toornstra – Dirk Kuyt, Nicolai Jörgensen, Steven Berghuis. (4-3-3)