Ajax will host FC Twente in the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday afternoon. Peter Bosz rates this team highly this season. “I think that Twente’s doing very well. I think they play very attractive football.”
The Ajacieds had tired eyes on the practice field on Friday. They flew back to Amsterdam on Thursday night, immediately after the match, landing in the Netherlands shortly before one a.m. Twelve hours later, a practice session was on the agenda, kicking off preparations for the FC Twente game.
Ajax’s 16:45 start on Sunday, in the 26th round of play, is a small advantage, says Bosz. “It’s nice for us. We had a tough match on Thursday, we flew back last night and the guys didn’t get to bed until very late. Considering all of this, it’s quite nice that we don’t start until later on Sunday.”
Bosz looked back briefly on the match against Copenhagen, which, despite the loss, satisfied him. “I thought we played well, and at times, I saw the Ajax I want to see: aggressive when necessary and daring. We just didn’t reward ourselves for our hard work by posting a good result. But the way we played is promising for the return, I think.”
In any case, all of the Ajacieds reached the finish line unscathed. “As far as we can tell right now, anyway”, said Bosz. It means that the coach will have the entire selection at his disposal for Sunday’s game. Hakim Ziyech and Joël Veltman are on dangerous territory and will earn a suspension if they get another yellow card.
Ziyech was not on the squad against Copenhagen, as he had indicated that he was exhausted. Bosz announced right away that the midfielder would be on the squad against Twente, and he repeated his position on Friday. “Hakim’s going to play.”
For Ziyech, the meeting with FC Twente is a reunion with his old club. Despite the play-maker’s departure – he had made a big impact the ‘Tukkers’ playing style for the prior two seasons, before leaving – they are performing well. Twente is in a well-deserved sixth place in the Eredivisie.
‘I think that Twente had good players, with individual attributes, including several loaned out players from Manchester City. René Hake has been able to put a good team in place in a short time. They play compactly, and with focus, and they will most likely play that way against us as well.”
Bosz is counting on Ajax taking the initiative against Twente, too. “I think that it’s going to be a fun game in which we’ll be the ones making the plays. But that’s not a problem, we need to do that in every match, and that’s the way we like it.”