PSV – Ajax: Five things to look forward to
Tomorrow, the Eredivisie will see defending league champions Ajax face powerful challengers PSV in Eindhoven in order to try and decide the title race in their favor. The home side however will be looking to revive their title aspirations. In short: A highly anticipated game that brings forth heavy emotions. To help you think of events that can take place, here are five things you can look forward to during the game.
1 – The managers
This game will undoubtedly be marked by both sides’ managers and their tactical choices, as highlighted in this article. It truly is a battle between generations, as Dick Advocaat is the face to a generation that’s about to fade away from the pastures and Frank de Boer embodies a brand new breed of managers. Age-old experience versus refined youth. Both ooze absolute class and you wouldn’t be surprised to see either manage a side with a chance on European silverware. Be sure to keep a keen eye on the touchline, because either one is able to decide the game in his favor.
2 – Defensive drama
As highlighted earlier, PSV’s central defenders aren’t exactly the best running around in world football, or even the league. Many performances of the Eindhoven-side have been marred by some errors of the defensive duo and we fear/hope another set of these will take place in the 90 minute showdown tomorrow afternoon. Likewise, Ajax’s pairing at the back hasn’t been up to scratch this season either, with especially Moisander (the successor of Vertonghen) contributing to a good few facepalm-moments. You’ve been warned, defensive drama might take place.
3 – Danger from the wing
Jeremain Lens, Dries Mertens, Viktor Fischer. What do they all have in common? Exactly, they’re deadly. This game will surely have a few moments where one or two individual moves from a winger will create danger. And knowing the full-backs, a recipe for disaster is present at either side. Mertens will look to abuse Van Rhijn’s weakness towards inverted wingers, Lens will try to outpace Blind jr. and Fischer wants to confuse Hutchinson with his positional play. Last but not least, all are able to score an absolute stunner if the ball falls in front of their feet. Be aware.
4 – Midfield stronghold
According to many people, the game will be decided in midfield, where both trio’s will meet up and attempt to subdue one-another. PSV will be looking to overrun and overpower Ajax, with solid veteran Mark Van Bommel, energetic dynamo Kevin Strootman and the 18-yard box assassin that is Ola Toivonen. The visiting side will, on the other hand, try to play rings around their opposition and force them into their shell by holding the ball, using Danish metronome Christian Eriksen, ‘Captain Clutch’ Siem De Jong and the fearless, experienced Christian Poulsen.
5 – Goals
Of the 120 games played between the two, only five ended without goals. In total, 403 goals were scored between the two during these meetings. It’s safe to say chances of a boring 0-0 happening are very low. Especially looking at the offensive potential both sides harness along with the defensive fragility present in either squad. Don’t think Chelsea – Liverpool, think Motherwell – Hibs.