After reaching the Europa League final, will Ajax strike again on Sunday? That’s the big question prior to the Eredivisie’s 34th round of play. Feyenoord had appeared to have the national title in the bag, but the Rotterdam team bowed to the pressure at Excelsior last week. And now, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team is feeling that Ajax is hot on their heels, waiting eagerly to take advantage of any mistakes that Feyenoord could make. But in any case, Ajax needs to win the game against Willem II in Tilburg.
These are great days for Ajax. On Thursday, the team defeated Olympique Lyon to reach the Europa League finals. The final game will take place in Stockholm on May 24th, but Ajax has the potential to win some hardware before then. For this to happen, Feyenoord would need to squander points again.
“The only thing that we can do is win our own match. We’d really shoot ourselves in the foot if Feyenoord didn’t win, and neither did we”, says Peter Bosz. “We need to avoid that. By winning three points ourselves, we put the pressure squarely back on Feyenoord. And then we’d need to wait and see what they do.”
Earlier this season, Ajax lost at home to Willem II. But Bosz doesn’t want revenge. “No, I’m not like that. Moreover, if you look at the teams that were on the field back then, and now, there’s a big difference. That was even the case a few weeks later, when we played against Willem II in September for the cup.”
Several former Ajacieds are currently playing with Willem II. Kostas Lamprou and Dico Koppers both used to play at the Toekomst. The latter even played eight matches in the first team.
Ajax returned from Lyon on Friday, and only has two days to rest. There is a chance that Bosz will make some changes, as not all Ajacieds came out of that game unscathed.
Worn down in Lyon
“Several guys got knocked around a bit in Lyon. That’s logical in a game in which all the stops were pulled out. We needed to give our maximum. Now, we need to see how the guys are doing. If someone isn’t one hundred per cent fit, I won’t let him play. We have a good selection with lots of quality. And every player is eager to have a go.”
That’s also true for Daley Sinkgraven, who has been out of the rotation for weeks. He won’t make the last competition game, either. When asked whether Sinkgraven will be in the selection in Tilburg, Bosz answered: “Probably not.”