On Saturday afternoon (2:00pm UK) in Grödig, Austria, Eredivisie champions Ajax square off against Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt. Both sides are winding their preseason campaign, as each, with the starts of their respective domestic league and cup competitions fast approaching.
Dutch champions Ajax have five preseason friendlies under their belts. Of those outings, they’ve won three – against German side Meppen, Croatian side Lokomotiv Zagreb and Salburg – while falling to German side Paderborn, and drawing with Eupen of Belgium. In their most recent out, also in Austria, Ajax topped Salzburg 3-2, behind a penalty from Dusan Tadic, and open-play goals from Mohammed Kudus and Kenneth Taylor.
Their opponents on Saturday, Eintracht Frankfurt – the defending Europa League winners, but the 11th-place finishers in the Bundesliga in 2021-22 – have taken the pitch three times thus far this preseason.
Their first time out, against fourth-tier German side Aschaffenburg, Eintracht came away 1-0 winners. They have since – on July 9 and 15, respectively – drawn (0-0) with Belgian side Linzer ASK and beaten Serie A’s Torino, 3-1.In that most recent outing, Eintracht got goals in the first 63 minutes from Almamy Toure, Jesper Lindstrom and Lucas Alario, before Krisztofer Horvath pulled one back in the 83rd.
How to watch Ajax vs Eintracht Frankfurt:
The game is available to watch in the UK on 360Sports and OneFootball.
Ajax vs Eintracht Frankfurt betting tips
- Ajax to win and OVER 2.5 goals in the game @ 1/1 with Betfair
- Ajax to win and by at least 2 goals @ 8/5 with Betfair
- BTTS in the 2nd half @ 27/20 with Betfair
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Ajax boast a deep roster of quality talent that’s supported by a world-class youth setup. Thus, their forays into the transfer market these days are not about volume, as much as they are about the targeted acquisition of quality talents. For instance, this summer, not counting returning loanees, just three new players will be making their way to Amsterdam: For instance, 24-year-old left winger Steven Bergwijn (€31.25 million, from Tottenham Hotspur), and 22-year-old left backs Calvin Bassey (€23 million, from Rangers) and Owen Wijndal (€10 million, from AZ Alkmaar)
Also, in classic Ajax fashion, they’ve made their biggest splashes on the sell side, getting €57 million from Man United for center back Lisandro Martinez, €31 million from Borussia Dortmund for forward Sebastian Haller and €18.5 million from Bayern Minich for central midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, with a game of chicken ongoing with Man United over Brazilian winger Antony, with Ajax (at the time of writing) still sticking to an €80 million valuation.
Eintracht, meanwhile, have had a busy summer in terms of player acquisition, adding a host of young players (at last count nearing 20, with an average age of under 23), highlighted by 22-year-old Norwegian winger Jens Petter Hauge, was acquired from AC Milan for €10 million. Elsewhere in attach, however, experience was a priority, as Alario (29, from Bayer Leverkusen) and somehow-still-only-30 Mario Götze (from PSV Eindhoven) each coming in for a fee of €6 million – all without losing any major contributors.
This is Ajax’s penultimate tune-up before meaningful action begin, with only a friendly against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk remaining, before their July 30 Dutch SuperCup match against PSV, and their Eredivisie opener against Sittern on August 8.
For Eintracht, meanwhile, this is it! Once this game is in the books, they all count, starting with their DFB Pokal match against Magdeberg on August 1, and their Bundesliga season-opener against none other than Bayern Munich on August 5.
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Scoreline prediction: Ajax 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt’s run to the Europa League last season was undoubtedly extremely impressive. In light of that incredible run, the club does not look to be sitting still, but rather seems to be prioritizing a build towards sustained success in the Bundesliga and return engagements in Europe.
It’s unclear, however, just how much any of that will matter against Ajax, who are the better team in a vacuum. And though Ajax are on a schedule very similar to Eintracht’s in terms returning to meaningful football, and thus will be looking to avoid injuries, they are still working to integrate a smaller number of higher quality players, which will likely show in the final result.
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