Edson Álvarez is suspended on Sunday due to receiving his tenth yellow card. On Friday, Heitinga announced that Calvin Bassey would replace the Mexican in the Philips Stadion. "Now that Edson is suspended, a position opens. Calvin is a good defender and very keen to learn. He works on getting better every day, that is something to applaud", says Ajax's head coach.
Heitinga believes that Bassey will help Ajax in Eindhoven. "He has qualities that others do not have. I am convinced he will perform well on Sunday", the manager said, who is aware that Ajax need to work together closely. "We will need to help each other during those ninety minutes."
Battle for UEFA Champions League ticket
Ajax and PSV are battling for second place. "The reality is that we are way behind Feyenoord. As I said before, we take it match by match. The most important thing is that we end with a good result in Eindhoven", Heitinga said. "We're going there to win."
Achieving a ticket for the Champions League playoffs is essential according to Heitinga. "We eventually want to play on the highest stage. That's something you want as a player too. We have five matches left and we have to make sure we get to those playoffs."
The head coach briefly touched up upon Ajax's infirmary. Mohammed Kudus, Devyne Rensch, Ahmetcan Kaplan, and Kian Fitz-Jim won't be playing on Sunday. The latter sustained an injury to his right ankle on Wednesday. "Ahmetcan and Kian won't be able to play this season. I hope that Mohammed and Devyne will be able to play the Dutch Cup final next week."
He is perhaps the most unlucky Ajax player this season: Ahmetcan Kaplan. The defender joined from Trabzonspor in the summer, but due to two serious injuries, he has not been able to make his official debut in Ajax 1 yet. 'I underwent surgery, otherwise I might have missed next year as well.'