‘We need to arm ourselves against a physically strong Copenhagen’

‘We need to arm ourselves against a physically strong Copenhagen’

Ajax will face FC Copenhagen in Thursday’s round of sixteen UEFA Europa League match.  Peter Bosz knows how strong the Danish league’s leader is, as he asserted on the eve of the first match during a press conference in Parken Stadium.  Seated at the press room’s table, he announced that Matthijs de Ligt and Kenny Tete will replaced the suspended Davinson Sánchez and Joël Veltman.

Shortly after half past six, the Ajax coach and Lasse Schöne were in attendance to discuss their vision of Thursday’s game.  Ajax will attempt to carve out a good position for itself, in order to be able to reach the quarter-finals after next week’s game in Amsterdam.  An away goal would be ideal, but that won’t be an easy task.  Copenhagen hasn’t given away many goals at home this season.

“Copenhagen’s a good team”, said Bosz to the Dutch and Danish press.  “They play differently than we’re used to.  They’re very strong physically and they play more or less the way Groningen played against us on Sunday.  We need to arm ourselves against that.”

“However”, Bosz warned the Danes, “we’re strong defensively, too.  I hope it won’t be a very defensive game, we don’t like that.  But when Ajax plays, it’s never a defensive match.  We’ve analyzed our opponents well, but we need to play our own game.”

Logical replacements
Bosz has found a solution for his missing pillars, Veltman and Sànchez: “Kenny Tete will play on the right and Matthijs de Ligt will be at right centre of defense.  They’re the logical replacements for the suspended players.  I have complete confidence in Matthijs.”

The trainer wouldn’t say if the rest of the squad would be the same as for last weekend’s game.  “No, we haven’t said anything about that.  We first need to train.  I’m definitely not going to play 5-3-2.”