Erik ten Hag doesn’t yet know if Donny van de Beek will be available for Sunday’s game against PSV. The midfielder is recovering from a hamstring injury, but the match against the Eindhoven team is perhaps too soon. “We definitely don’t want to take any risks.”
“On Wednesday, Donny trained with the group again for the first time”, said Ten Hag during Friday’s press conference leading up to PSV – Ajax. “He trained today and there will be another session tomorrow. At that time, we’ll need to evaluate and make a decision. But I’m not going to take any risks with Donny. PSV away is an important game, but many more important games are still to come.”
Ziyech seems fit
Hakim Ziyech also has a hamstring injury, but Ten Hag isn’t worried. “It’s not really an injury, and we obviously need to make sure that it doesn’t turn into one. But we still have two days and I’m assuming he’ll be able to play.”
Our biggest win last season was that loss in Eindhoven'
Last season, Ajax lost 3-0 in Eindhoven, but Ten Hag isn’t considering adapting to the opponent. “We want to win each match, especially this one. Are we going to play on full attack? We are going to play to our own strengths. That’s what we did against Juventus, Real Madrid, and last Tuesday against Lille. That’s what we’ll do on Sunday against PSV.”
The away game loss from last season isn’t a factor any more. “That’s the past. After that game, we beat PSV at home when they were almost champions, and we beat them this season for the Johan Cruijff Shield.” Naturally, Ten Hag would love to grab three points in Eindhoven, but this game isn’t crucial. “It’s an amazing game, and we want to win, but there is still plenty of season left. Our biggest win last season was probably that loss in Eindhoven.”
'A block of 6 at the back, and 4 cowboys at the front'
Ten Hag is expecting a tough game in Eindhoven: “PSV has a strong team, notably their offense. At the back they have a block of 6 players, and 4 cowboys at the front.” In order to have a fighting chance, Ajax will need to stay alert: circus football, as Ten Hag calls some parts of the game against Lille, is forbidden. “We want to play attractive football, and I love tricks. But we need to keep in functional and not get in our own way.”