Ajax is on the path to redemption as they face Brighton & Hove Albion in a crucial Europa League Group B clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Both teams have their eyes set on victory after Brighton’s earlier triumph.
Under the guidance of John van ‘t Schip, Ajax has made a remarkable turnaround since their dismal start to the season.
They had suffered four consecutive defeats and lost 10 games in a row, but they are now back on track with back-to-back Eredivisie wins.
Their recent performance includes a 4-1 victory over Heerenveen, showcasing their newfound form.
Ajax is currently at the bottom of the Europa League Group B with two points but has a chance to level points with group leaders Marseille. A victory is crucial for their European campaign.
Brighton & Hove Albion has had its share of ups and downs in the Europa League, with two draws in their opening matches against AEK Athens and Marseille. However, they managed to defeat Ajax in their previous encounter, marking their first European victory.
Despite their European success, Brighton has struggled in the Premier League, failing to secure a win in their last five matches.
They recently had to rely on an Ashley Young own goal to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Everton. Nevertheless, their scoring record remains impressive.
Ajax’s defensive improvement has been evident, having conceded just one goal in their last two games.
The Dutch giants aim to continue their positive momentum and secure a win to bolster their chances in the Europa League.
Ajax’s Steven Bergwijn, who had an injury concern in the previous match, is expected to start.
Several players, including Geronimo Rulli, Sivert Mannsverk, Jay Gorter, and Amourricho van Axel Dongen, are sidelined due to injuries. Borna Sosa might replace Arjany Martha at left-back.
Brighton is dealing with fitness issues, with Solly March, Julio Enciso, and Jakub Moder facing knee injuries.
Danny Welbeck is set for an extended period on the sidelines, and Pervis Estupinan’s return is uncertain.
An anticipated rotation is likely to see Ansu Fati and Joao Pedro return to the frontline.
Ajax Possible Starting Lineup:
- Rensch, Sutalo, Hato, Sosa;
- Taylor, Tahirovic, Van den Boomen;
- Berghuis, Brobbey, Bergwijn
Brighton & Hove Albion Possible Starting Lineup:
- Veltman, Van Hecke, Dunk, Milner;
- Fati, Gross, Gilmour, Mitoma;
- Pedro, Ferguson
Prediction: Ajax 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Ajax has shown signs of improvement, but replicating their previous victory over Brighton might be challenging.
The visitors, despite their Premier League struggles, are a formidable opponent. A draw seems likely in this encounter.