Ajax will be looking to take a major step towards successfully defending their Eredivisie crown when they host FC Utrecht on Thursday evening (17:45 UK time).
The hosts need at least two wins from six remaining matches while seventh-place Utrecht seek a first win in Amsterdam since November 2017 when current De Godenzonen boss Erik ten Hag was at the helm.
How to live stream Ajax vs FC Utrecht online:
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Where to watch Ajax vs FC Utrecht on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Ajax 3-2 FC Utrecht
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Ajax vs FC Utrecht build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
After winning their 20th KNVB Beker title Ajax can take another major step towards winning a record-extending 35th Dutch championship. If either or both title rivals PSV Eindhoven and AZ win their remaining games then as things currently stand the Amsterdammers just need to pick up at least five points from their last six fixtures. Hypothetically that means Ten Hag’s men can wrap it up this weekend and despite the disappointment of their recent Europa League elimination Ajax are firing on all cylinders in their domestic league. They are currently on a 17-game unbeaten streak — which includes 14 wins — and have won their previous five matches on the bounce subsequently registering 13 goals whilst conceding twice. At home this season only FC Twente (1-2) and PSV (2-2) have left the Dutch capital unscathed.
As for Utrecht they are seeking a return to winning ways after suffering a 1-2 home loss against Feyenoord last time out. Before that setback Utreg had registered back-to-back wins and go into this week’s game having won eight of their previous 12 league outings. Consequently they find themselves occupying the final Europa League playoff spot with Heracles, Twente and Heerenveen breathing down their neck. On the road Hake’s men have done modestly well having won six of their previous 13 away trips whilst suffering three losses — against Heracles (4-1), PSV (2-1) and Vitesse (1-0) — before facing Ajax this week. In fact they’re on a five-game winning run on the road which is their longest streak this century.
- Ajax (vs Vitesse): Stekelenburg; Rensch, Timber, Martínez, Tagliafico; Gravenberch, Álvarez; Antony, Klaassen, Tadic; Haller.
- FC Utrecht (vs Feyenoord): Oelschlägel; Ter Avest, Van der Maarel, Janssen, Warmerdam; Van Overeem, Maher; Kerk, Gustafson, Boussaid; Van de Streek.
Long-term absentees Daley Blind (ankle) and André Onana (suspended) are the only players unavailable for Ajax this week. As for the visitors there are no fewer than four players missing from René Hake’s squad: Justin Hoogma (ankle), Tommy St. Jago (ill), Bart Ramselaar (concussion) and Mimoun Mahi (hamstring)
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Player to watch: Sébastien Haller (Ajax)
This game represents an emotional reunion for Sébastien Haller who meets former club Utrecht for the first time since returning to Dutch top flight action. During a three season association the 26-year-old French-born Ivorian marksman bagged 41 goals in the Eredivisie across 82 outings. He’d soon join Eintracht Frankfurt before moving onto West Ham though his time in English football wasnt the most successful. Haller also goes into this outing seeking to score in three consecutive league matches, something he’s yet to manage for the Amsterdammers, and in 13 appearances to date Ajax’s ‘number 22’ has registered eight goals whilst creating five more.
Eredivisie 2020/21 recent form:
- Ajax: WWWWW
- FC Utrecht: LWWLW
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