Ajax vs Real Madrid

December 6, 2011
By: John Hansen

While Real Madrid have already secured the first place in the group and Jose Mourinho can field a second string side, Ajax are also very close to ensuring qualification, seeing that all they need to do is to avoid a heavy defeat in this clash. In spite of that, we expect to see a very open game between two attack-minded sides.

Ajax firing on all cylinders

Not too many people expected Ajax to qualify from the group that also consisted of sides like Real Madrid and Lyon, but the Amsterdammers have done really well so far and they are on the verge of making it to the next round. Besides recording a double win over weak Dinamo Zagreb, Ajax have twice held Lyon to a goalless draw and they enter the final round three points clear of the French side. That basically means that one point from the Real game would be enough for qualification, while the Dutch side can go through even with a narrow defeat. That, however, doesn’t mean that the hosts are set to adopt a defensive approach as Ajax are one of those teams that always play attacking football, regardless of the opponent. Frank De Boer’s side look likely to continue the impressive scoring record against what will be Real’s second string side, but they are expected to have some problems at the back against the likes of Benzema, Kaka and Higuain.

Russian striker Dmitry Bulykin could make the bench after recovering from injury, but Ismael Aissati is doubtful. Gregory van der Wiel should be fit to play.

Five out of five

Real Madrid have already hinted that they will be fighting for honours on both domestic and European stage, with some amazing attacking performances helping los Blancos win all five Champions League group games. With all important El Clasico clash due on Saturday and first place in Group D already in the bag, Jose Mourinho is set to rest his star players and field what will be a second string line-up. That may make Ajax’s job a bit easier, but when we know that players like Kaka, Sahin, Callejon, Benzema and Coentrao will be in the side, then we cannot really say that Ajax are the favourites here. There are no doubts that the back-up players are looking to impress Jose Mourinho and possibly earn a chance to play against Barcelona, so we can expect to see very motivated los Merengues.

Iker Casillas, Lassana Diarra, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo have stayed in Spain, whereas all other starters are likely to be left on the bench. Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain should play 45 minutes each.


A clash between two attack-minded sides should bring us a lot of chances at both ends, so we could easily see goals galore at Amsterdam ArenA. Both Ajax and Real will be looking for a win, so over 2.5 goals looks like the best choice here.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

Odds: 1.90 (9/10)

Bookmaker: Betfair

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