Van Basten eyes next round

Van Basten eyes next round

Marco van Basten sees chances for Ajax to get through the group stage of the UEFA Cup. ,,It is good that we play the last match at home against Slavia Prague. That match can really be decisive.”

,,An interesting draw”, was the first reaction of the Ajax boss about the group with Aston Villa, HSV, Slavia Prague and MSK Zilina. ,,Two team from big leagues and two teams from slightly lesser leaugues. Our opponents all currently do well in their own countries. And I like it that we play against HSV, a team with Dutch influences.”

Ajax play away against HSV and Aston Villa, on paper the two strongest opponents. MSK Zilina and Slavia Prague will come over to play in the ArenA. ,,That is good for us”, Van Basten said. ,,If you win your home games, you have a fairly good chance to go through. I think that our final match, at home against Slavia Prague, will be crucial.”

For Ajax, the name Slavia Prague mainly invokes memories of the elimination in the qualifying round of the Champions League last season. Van Basten, who at that time was still the Holland coach, would not mind if his team harboured some feelings of revenge. ,,That will make sure that everyone will be fired up for that match."

Thursday 23 October Aston Villa FC - Ajax
Thursday 6 November Ajax - MSK Zilina
Thursday 27 November Hamburger SV - Ajax
Wednesday 17 December Ajax - Slavia Prague

Dates to be confirmed.