Heerenveen VS Ajax Prediction
Ajax sticks right behind its fierce rival Feyenoord, but good progress of Sunday’s Eredivisie schedule can even climb them on top of the table after round 14. First of all Ajax must win full number of points, when “de Godenzonen” will visit the “Abe Lenstra Stadion” in Heerenveen, where they’ll challenge fourth-placed “Superfriezen”. Minutes after final whistle of clash facing SC Heerenveen and Ajax Amsterdam, Feyenoord has a visit against an in-form Utrecht, so as we have already noted, Ajax can replace Feyenoord from the Eredivisie peak under certain circumstances.
Heerenveen vs Ajax – Team News and Match Preview
Heerenveen remains on own turf after a home draw against Vitesse (1-1) last weekend, when Henk Veerman leveled the score for “De Superfriezen” in 84th minute. This was the third consecutive competitive game without winning for Jurgen Streppel’s men, but despite their lack of victories in last few weeks, Heerenveen remains behind “The Big Three” in Dutch football. Besides that point won against Vitesse, Heerenveen had two outings to Rotterdam in space of 5 days, right before the international break. Surprisingly or not, Heerenveen have stolen a point from Feyenoord, where Jurgen Streppel’s side became only second team which has found a way to stop Rotterdammers at their own “De Kuip”. Previous one was Ajax in the first De Klassieker edition during season 2016-17, which happened a month ago. However, Heerenveen made a wrong step only few days later, when they lost 3-1 to a mid-table Sparta Rotterdam.
Thus “De Superfriezen” are currently fourth (before beginning of other round 14 fixtures on Saturday night) and they have 3 points less from third-placed PSV Eindhoven.
Ajax head to Heerenveen being in marvelous form, aiming to extend its unbeaten run to 18 games. Indeed, squad of coach Peter Bosz shows great improvement after the frustrating 1-4 defeat by Rostov in end of August, which has caused Ajax’s Champions League elimination. Nevertheless, Ajax can now boast with 14 wins and 3 draws in following 17 matches and this makes them very successful on all three fronts they compete.
Four from last five encounters of Ajax were at their “Amsterdam ArenA” in Dutch capital, where “The Lancers” have scored 11 goals against teams of Excelsior (1-0), Celta de Vigo (3-2), NEC (5-0) and Panathinaikos (2-0). Latter of them was on Thursday night, when Ajax has secured first position in Group G of the UEFA Europa League, in a game where Peter Bosz decided to rest some of the first-team players.
Anyway, we must also note that last away game of Ajax was in middle between these four home matches, which has ended with a draw – 2-2 vs AZ in Alkmaar, before international break earlier in November.
Heerenveen vs Ajax – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Heerenveen strives to put an end of its winless form, but coach Jurgen Streppel remains without its key player and captain of the team Stijn Schaars. The 32-year-old Dutch international has picked a calf injury in opening minutes of the friendly between the Netherlands and Belgium on 9 November, which is the reason he missed last round and expectations are Schaars should return next week. His position in midfield can be covered by someone from not so experienced Morten Thorsby, Younes Namli or Simon Thern. In fact, Stijn Schaars is the only one from current roster who’s aged over 30 and he’s surely most experienced player in club from Heerenveen.
Squad filled from young footballers is not something untypical for Dutch football and Ajax also relies mostly on youngsters. Few of them were rested in the midweek Europa League round so expectations are all following names should be brought back in Ajax’s starting XI against Heerenveen – Daley Sinkgraven, Joel Veltman, Nick Viergever, Davinson Sánchez, Hakim Ziyech, captain Davy Klaassen, Bertrand Traore and 19-year-old goal scorer Kasper Dolberg. Most of them are on age of 23 or less, while only Veltman (24) and Viergever (27) are older. All of them are first-team players in current set up of Peter Bosz and we expect them next to trio used against Greek team in the week – young goalkeeper Andre Onana, experienced Danish midfielder Lasse Schöne and German winger Amin Younes.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Ajax won in only one of its last four visits and that was the 6-1 victory against Kozakken Boys in the Dutch Cup. Other results were draws against Celta de Vigo, Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar, but now Peter Bosz has full squad available and we expect another positive result for The Amsterdammers. Midfielder Hakim Ziyech is fully recovered from illness and he’s ready to return at the place where his football career started. Expectations are 23-year-old Dutch-born Moroccan attacking midfielder to cause lot of trouble for Heerenveen’s defense and we believe this can influence potential victory for the away side. Absence of Stijn Schaars and lack of experience in midfield can also become an important factor, so Ajax can definitely benefit of it.
For greater odds, compared to regular values and the 1X2 type of betting, we recommend betting for Ajax with the Asian Handicap -0.5 on them.
Venue: “Abe Lenstra Stadion”, Heerenveen.
Referee: Danny Makkelie.
Possible starting lineups of Heerenveen and Ajax
SC Heerenveen: Erwin Mulder – Lucas Bijker, Jerry St. Juste, Joost van Aken, Stefano Marzo – Morten Thorsby, Yuki Kobayashi, Younes Namli – Sam Larsson, Luciano Slagveer, Reza Ghoochannejhad. (4-3-3)
AFC Ajax: Andrе Onana – Daley Sinkgraven, Nick Viergever, Davinson Sánchez, Joël Veltman – Davy Klaassen, Lasse Schöne, Hakim Ziyech – Amin Younes, Bertrand Traore, Kasper Dolberg. (4-3-3)