Italian side Fiorentina are the opponents of Ajax in the third round of the UEFA Cup. Ajax play away on 18 or 19 February. The return in Amsterdam will be played on 26 February. ,,A nice draw", coach Marco van Basten said.
It is the first time that Ajax play against Fiorentina in a European match. The Italians qualified for the third round of the UEFA Cup by finishing third behind Bayern München and Olympique Lyon in group F of the Champions League. The team of coach Cesare Prandelli is currently in fifth place in the Serie A. Marco van Basten was pleased with the draw. ,,I of course have a thing with Italy", said the coach, who regularly visited Florence as a player of AC Milan. ,,Fiorentina is a good club and has a squad with plenty of experience." Van Basten thinks that Ajax should be capable of surviving the double confrontation with the Italians. ,,I think we definitely have a chance to go through. If you can defeat HSV, you can also defeat Fiorentina. Those teams are of the same level." If Ajax eliminate Fiorentina, they will face the winners of the tie between FC Twente and Olympique Marseille in the fourth round. Dates and times to be confirmed!