Feyenoord VS Ajax Prediction
Feyenoord’s winning streak will be seriously threatened on Sunday afternoon when Ajax Amsterdam arrives in Rotterdam for a first edition of “De Klassieker” in season 2016-17. Both fierce rivals will meet only three days after their midweek commitment in the UEFA Europa League when round 10 of Dutch Eredivisie knocks at the door. After 9 games we find Feyenoord on top of the table where Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men are still unbeaten, winning all their games so far – simple calculations show 27 points won out of 27 possible. To be even more impressive, Feyenoord’s superb form has been marked by a brilliant goal difference – 25:3. The Amsterdammers are on five points behind rivals from Rotterdam and Ajax’s coach Peter Bosz surely realizes how important that “Classic” can be for his side, since they’re sole runner-ups and eventual success of the home team can make the gap too big. Even third name from “De Grote Drie” (The Big Three) in Dutch football, reigning champion PSV Eindhoven, remains on 9 points behind Feyenoord, at least before its match against Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday night.
De Klassieker 2016: Feyenoord vs Ajax – Team News and Match Preview
Feyenoord and Ajax had a proper warm-up for the first “Klassieker” in season 2016-17 when on Thursday night they both clubs were among the Dutch representatives in the UEFA Europa League. Feyenoord achieved another victory in Group A where they won against Zorya Luhansk and thus they share top positions with Manchester United, while Ajax took the lead twice, but their clash against Celta Vigo has ended with a 2-2 draw. After their visit in Spain, Ajax remains individually on Group G’s top where they have won 7 points in three games. We can define their midweek Europa League actions as successful, but of course, Ajax probably regrets about missed opportunity to win. Anyway, that happened in a visit against team from Spanish La Liga and Celta are probably their biggest opponent for the first position, so stealing a point away from home isn’t a bad result, not at all.
Feyenoord enters into the derby against Ajax with an advantage of staying at its own “De Kuip” where they have reached the narrow success over Ukrainian Zorya. Giovanni van Bronckhorst even rested some first-team players as Steven Berghuis and skipper Dirk Kuyt were on the bench, so they’ll be fresh for Sunday’s Classic.
Victory against Zorya was the seventh successive home win for Feyenoord in this season and to be even more exact, Feyenoord’s last defeat at home remains in end of January, when they lost to ADO Den Haag. It has been followed by 13 wins and only 2 draws for Feyenoord in Rotterdam and undoubtedly most prestigious from them remains the 1-0 against Manchester United in matchday one of the UEFA Europa League group stage. Only few days after that glorious success, Feyenoord scored another massive result when Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men took a sweet revenge for the Dutch Super Cup defeat, by winning against PSV in Eidnhoven. This was clear indicator Feyenoord can dream big and everyone in Rotterdam have reasonable hopes to fight for club’s first Eredivisie trophy after season 1998–99.
On other side guests from Amsterdam were also in a winning run before their visit at the “Estadio de Balaídos” in Vigo. Their streak was really impressive as well, and after the unconvincing beginning of new Eredivisie season, combined with the UEFA Champions League failure, Ajax have finally found themselves after winning nine games in a row. This means “de Godenzonen” are undefeated since the heavy loss vs Rostov in the Champions League playoffs and they obviously found the right path to overcame it. Nevertheless, Peter Bosz’s men have enough to catch up and they cannot afford losing more points, especially in Rotterdam.
Feyenoord vs Ajax – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Last meeting between both sides was in first days of February when Ajax won 2-1 at its own “Amsterdam ArenA”, after making a comeback from losing position. This was Ajax’s first win over Feyenoord after three unsuccessful attempts in which both Eredivisie encounters have ended with a draw, while Feyenoord achieved one really dramatic victory one year ago (in end of October 2015), when they eliminated Ajax from the KNVB Beker after an own goal by Joel Veltman in 95th minute. Later on Feyenoord lifted the Dutch Cup trophy after 8 years of waiting. Now they’re heading to the next step where the wait is even greater.
Three points against Ajax will be crucial for Feyenoord’s title inspirations and if hosts from Rotterdam find a way to put an end of the winless Eredivisie form against Ajax (9 games without a league win), they’ll certainly become even more confident in their own capabilities, as well as the overall favourite for the Eredivisie trophy. Current situation is really delicate since a loss here can reduce difference between both rivals on just two points, which will keep Feyenoord on top, but we don’t know how it can reflect to their morale in the upcoming rounds. Here comes the role of all experienced players who’ll have to show their leading skills and their influence should be helpful to the younger teammates.
We have already reviewed current situation in Dutch Eredivisie and eventual lose of Ajax may tip the scales pretty much on Feyenoord’s side. Of course, we shouldn’t underestimate PSV, but their current position leaves them aside, so all eyes are looking ahead to the upcoming “De Klassieker”.
Peter Bosz couldn’t rely to Kenny Tete and Lasse Schöne on Thursday night but everyone hopes Schöne should be fit enough for Sunday’s clash. Even if he’s not in the starting lineup, Danish winger is always an option and players with his experience can always be useful, especially in these type of matches.
Meanwhile Feyenoord’s boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst may also have some good news if Eljero Elia passes the fitness test. Elia returned to training two weeks ago after he underwent surgery back in August (shoulder injury), but the 29-year-old winger gets even closer to first-team football. He played more than a hour for Feyenoord’s youth team on Monday night and latest rumours are Elia should be included in Feyenoord’s group.
Final conclusion and Betting Tip
Most matches between Feyenoord and Ajax in last two seasons do not provide many goals and besides their last meeting, we had 2 or less goals in previous four encounters. To be even more exact we observed two goals in the 1-1 draw which was last match between both rivals at the “De Kuip”, while previous three games have ended either without goals (0-0 draw in January 2015) or with just 1 goal.
Considering importance of their game most people would bet on another low-scoring affair but we’re more tempted by the traditional attacking mentality in Dutch football. Despite their midweek efforts, we think that just one goal in any moment of the game can be a reason to have even more open football and we find decent value in a bet on “Over 2.5 Goals” with these odds when we have two clubs from the Netherlands. Things can always escalate quickly and we expect even bigger threat for Feyenoord’s defense in that game, as Ajax can put them on real pressure compared to all previous Eredivisie fixtures they had.
Venue: “Stadion Feijenoord”, Rotterdam.
Referee: Björn Kuipers.
Possible starting lineups for De Klassieker: Feyenoord vs Ajax
Feyenoord Rotterdam: Brad Jones – Rick Karsdorp, Eric Botteghin, Jan-Arie van der Heijden, Terence Kongolo – Karim El Ahmadi, Dirk Kuyt, Tonny Vilhena – Jens Toornstra, Steven Berghuis, Nicolai Jörgensen. (4-3-3)
AFC Ajax: André Onana – Mitchell Dijks, Nick Viergever, Davinson Sánchez, Joël Veltman – Hakim Ziyech, Nemanja Gudelj, Davy Klaassen – Amin Younes, Bertrand Traore, Kasper Dolberg. (4-3-3)