FC Utrecht welcome rivals Ajax for what should be another fascinating Eredivisie showdown on Sunday (11:15am kick-off).
Utrecht XI: Paes; Van der Maarel, St. Jago, Hoogma, Warmerdam; Maher, Gustafson, Maher; Van Overeem; Kerk, Mahi, Elia
Ajax XI: Onana; Mazraoui, Schuurs, Blind, Tagliafico; Klaassen, Labyad, Gravenberch; Antony, Traore, Tadic
Where to watch FC Utrecht vs Ajax on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream FC Utrecht vs Ajax:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming FC Utrecht vs Ajax live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
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FC Utrecht & Ajax’s build-up, pre-match team news and previous line-ups:
Soon after picking up their first Champions League win of the season at FC Midtjylland’s expense, Erik ten Hag’s men visit a stadium where they’ve struggled in recent years.
Across their previous 10 visits to Stadion Galgenwaard, Ajax jave suffered four losses whilst claiming only two victories. However, one of those successes did come on their last trip, when they left with a 3-1 win, a game that saw captain Dusan Tadic on the scoresheet.
Utrecht currently find themselves nine points and seven places below the Eredivisie leaders, but are imperious at home, winning five of their last six matches. John van den Brom, enjoyed two successful seasons at Ajax (which culminated with lifting the European Cup), will fancy his chances of inflicting a second league defeat on them.
- FC Utrecht (vs Heracles): Nijhuis; Van der Maarel, St. Jago, Hoogma, Warmerdam; Van de Streek, Gustafson, Maher; Ramselaar, Sylla, Elia.
- Ajax (vs FC Midtjylland): Onana; Mazraoui, Schuurs, Martínez, Tagliafico; Blind, Gravenberch, Ekkelenkamp; Antony, Tadic, Promes.
Utrecht welcome the Dutch champions missing only forward Mimoun Mahi and reserve goalkeeper Fabian de Keijzer as they look to return to winning ways.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, heads back to his old stomping ground with dynamic midfielder Mohammed Kudus still absent from his team. The 20-year-old Ghanaian, who joined from Nordsjælland in the summer, made an impressionable start to life in Amsterdam before sustaining a serious knee injury in Ajax’s opening Champions League outing against Liverpool last month.
Players to watch:
FC Utrecht: In recent seasons no Eredivisie team has caused Ajax more headaches than Utrecht who, despite their recent concerning form, are relishing the challenge this weekend. Key to any success will be the ability of John van den Brom’s side transitioning play, moving seamlessly from attack to defence and vice versa. And no one does that better for Utrecht than Adam Maher who, at one point, was heralded as Dutch football’s next big thing. He’s been quietly reaching those heights this season; to date he’s creating 4.2 chances per 90 whilst producing 2.9 interceptions per 90. In possession Maher, who previously worked under Van den Brom at AZ, averages 80 passes per 90 which is certain to make him useful against the Eredivisie leaders.
Ajax: It’s fair to say Ajax are yet to consistently hit their relentless stride this season. If there’s one individual that is performing at the desired level, but with plenty of room to grow, it’s summer acquisition Antony who’s starting to fill the void left by Hakim Ziyech. The Brazilian winger already has five goals to his name, with his most recent coming against FC Midtjylland, the strike taking place inside the opening minute. Encouragingly for the Amsterdammers, he’s been a nuisance for full-backs, averaging 1.5 take-ons per 90, and with him pulling off at least three shots on goal, there’s every reason to believe Utrecht’s defence will have a challenge on their hands.