During the press conference leading up to the return game against FC Copenhagen, Peter Bosz was succinct about what his team needs to do to beat its opponent. Ajax must distinguish itself with the way they play. “We’re not suddenly going to jump higher than Copenhagen, or become physically stronger. But I do think we can play better. That’s where we’ll need to make the difference.”
One week ago, prior to the first match, Bosz had been surprisingly open about his starting eleven, sharing that both Kenny Tete and Matthijs de Ligt would be on the squad. This time, the trainer wouldn’t reveal anything, for good reason.
Sinkgraven and Nouri
“In Copenhagen, all of the players were together and I had the chance to tell them how we were going to approach it. I haven’t had that opportunity here yet. The players had a day off yesterday and now, they’re trickling into the Toekomst. Some players are a question mark. I first want to see how they do in this training. I’ll decide afterwards if those guys will be part of the game, and how we’ll play.”
Bosz did reveal which players where concerned. “Daley Sinkgraven was having trouble last Sunday against Twente, and Appie was forced to stop on Monday. I want to see how those do guys do in the training.”
Davy Klaassen will definitely be absent due to his suspension. Bosz said that the midfielder would be missed, but he didn’t want to make the issue bigger than it was. “He’s a player who is in shape, goes into the battle head-on and scores goals. Obviously, you want a player like that to be there. But we’ll put someone else in and I trust that that player will do a great job, too.”
Ajax called the shots for a large part of the game in Copenhagen. The expectation is that this will also be the case in the Amsterdam ArenA. The Danish champion isn’t known to be an attacking team. “We have two different styles of playing”, says Bosz. “They like to have many players after the ball. We know that. It’s up to us to deal with that in a good way. We’re sticking with our playing style and are not planning to change. It’s going to be a great match that’s going to come down to the details. We’re going to have to be very good, and stay sharp for ninety minutes plus extra time.”
Bosz was asked by the Danish press if he expects that Copenhagen’s necessary substitution will be a factor. Suspended former PSV player Mathias Jørgensen will be replaced by Jores Okore. Bosz denied this. “We know that he’s played in England. But that won’t make much difference. They’ll play the same way.”