Ajax will have to play without midfield motor Tomás Galásek in the crucial UEFA Champions League match against Club Brugge. The Czech suffers an injury in his left upper leg. Home side Brugge miss injured striker Mendoza.
Club Brugge are going through a bad spell in the Belgian league. But both Ajax coach Ronald Koeman and his counterpart Trond Sollied say that Brugge´s national form has no relation to their efforts in the Champions League. ,,This match leads his own life´´, Sollied said on Monday. Koeman agreed: ,,They have won in Milan and they drew in Vigo. We could not get those results there. I don´t see why Ajax should be the favourites.´´
Both teams can finish second, third or fourth in the group. ,,It was always going to depend on the last match´´, said Koeman. Much also depends of the result of the match between AC Milan and Celta de Vigo. Milan have already send six of their star players to Japan to prepare for the world cup match there. ,,I don´t blame them´´, Koeman announced. ,,They have done their job. I would do the same thing.´´
The match between Brugge and Ajax will be a clash between physically strong play and technical football. Koeman sees the game as a good test for his young team. ,,Football is no fun when there is nothing at stake. We have to show that we have gained enough experience and that we can play at this level. It would be fantastic if we would make it to the second round again. Last year we learned so much playing at this high level. For our internationals it is also a good opportunity to show that they belong in the national team. In the Dutch league you don´t always get tested that well.´´ A win would put Ajax in the second round. With any other result, where the teams will play after the winter break (Champions League, UEFA Cup or elimination) also depends on the result of the other group match.