Champions League Preview: Real Madrid vs Ajax

by Punter's Hero on September 27, 2011

in Football, Latest News

Spain’s Real Madrid owned Ajax of Amsterdam in the Champions League last season by beating them twice and outscoring them 6-0. They’re looking to extend their mastery over the Dutch club when they host them in Champions League Group D game at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Sept. 27th.

Real won their opening game of the group with a 1-0 away win over GNK Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia. Marcelo received a red card in the game, but they hung on after Ángel Di María scored the only goal. Ajax only managed a 0-0 draw at home to French club Olympique Lyonnais in their opener. Madrid beat Ajax 2-0 at home and 4-0 away in last season’s competition. However, overall, Ajax has beaten Madrid four times and lost three with another game ending in a draw.

At home against Dutch competition, Madrid has won eight, lost two and drawn once. Ajax’s record in Spain shows a decent five wins, six losses, and two draws.

Madrid will be looking to forward Cristiano Ronaldo to supply the offense after he scored his second hat trick of the season on the weekend in Madrid’s 6-2 thumping of Rayo Vallecano. He’s now got eight goals so far this season. Ajax were held to a 1-1 draw against FC Twente on the weekend after conceding a late goal.

Ajax manager Frank de Boer knows his club will have its hands full with the Spanish giants and hopes his players don’t have an inferiority complex after last season’s losses to them. Ajax has also lost the services of striker Luis Suarez along with keeper Maarten Stekelenburg from last season, with Suarez ending up with Liverpool of the English Premier League.

Madrid struggled a couple of weeks ago and Saturday’s win broke a two-game winless streak. They seem to have a hard time getting up for games against weaker teams, but shouldn’t have a problem finding motivation against Ajax. They’ve also feel into a bad habit of playing games with 10 men as their disciplinary record is quite poor under manager Jose Mourinho, who will miss this game himself due to a suspension.

Madrid should have defender Ricardo Carvalho back in the lineup after sitting out on the weekend due to a concussion. Turkish midfielder Hamit Altintop should also be in the lineup. Marcelo is out with a suspension and defenders Fabio Coentrao and Pepe are injured. Ajax expects to get forward Miralem Sulejmani into the squad after being out with a hamstring injury,

Ajax has a 13-game undefeated streak going in the Dutch league, but will find it hard to beat Madrid in Spain, especially with Ronaldo in top form. Madrid should take this game by a couple of goals.

Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a Real Madrid win at 2/9 and an Ajax victory at 14/1. A draw is listed at 9/2.

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