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Pre- Match: Ajax – Real Madrid

December 4, 2011

By Alex Camille

With just three days to go Ajax prepare themselves to meet Spanish giants Real Madrid on the last day of Champions League group stage. With three consecutive defeats against the Spanish powerhouse, Ajax will be looking to end the losing streak and get a favorable result in the ArenA on Wednesday. Even a draw against Real Madrid would see the Dutch side advance to the knock-out stage of Champion League for the first time since 2005/2006.

Ajax defenders will have to be extremely wary of Real Madrid hotshot and ex-player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo. Scoring in the last two meetings Ronaldo slotted in one goal in Real Madrid’s 3 – 0 win late September and two goals the teams 4 – 0 win on November last year. However, Jose Mourinho’s priorities lay in the upcoming Gran Derbi against FC Barcelona on Saturday. This means that they are more likely to field their second team giving Ajax their best chance to scramble a good result. Frank De Boer hasn’t released his starting line up yet but undoubtedly he will look to defender and current captain Jan Vertonghen to help keep Ajax’s defence rock solid.

Frank De Boer might be a bit too optimistic about the performance of his team in the upcoming match. However, current standings within Ajax’s group leave them in a good position regardless of a win or lose. With a three-point advantage over third-place French team Olympique Lyonnais even a defeat in Amsterdam could be enough to see them through depending on Lyon’s result at GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

Real Madrid’s current five win streak might be a good indicator that Ajax will have to rely on this back-up option to getting into the champions league. Realistically they will have to put a lot of effort into keeping Real Madrid’s strikers at bay and even then there’s no saying how long that will be for. All eyes in Spain and Holland will be turned towards the Amsterdam Arena this Wednesday, eager to see these two teams preform.

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