It is time for the first De Klassieker of the 2019-20 campaign, as Ajax host Feyenoord at the Johan Cruyff Arena tomorrow at 16:45 (CET).
Dutch champions AFC Ajax saw their unbeaten run at the start of the season come to an end, when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League midweek.
The Jews are, however, on the right path of defending their Eredivisie title, having registered eight wins and two draws from the opening 10 league games this term.
Vitesse in the season opener and arch-rivals PSV a month ago are the only sides Ajax failed to beat, as they head into the upcoming De Klassieker leading the league standings, with 26 points out of 30 available.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) October 25, 2019
Feyenoord will travel to Amsterdam from the bottom half of the table, having collected just 14 points, 12 less than their next opponents.
The visitors, who won the league just once in the past two decades, are unexpectedly underperforming this season and an away win in the classic derby against Ajax would definitely help them lift their spirits ahead of the next two-thirds of the 2019-20 campaign.
De Klassieker is historically the biggest game of Dutch football and when it comes to encounters like this the form is not necessarily relevant, as there is always this little bit of extra motivation which could decide the winner at the end of the day.
Nicolas Tagliafico is expected to return following his domestic suspension last weekend, while Noussair Mazraoui might have to settle for a place on the bench because of Sergino Dest’s excellent performances on the right-back position during the Moroccan’s injury spell.
Speaking of excellent performances, Ajax attacking trio Quincy Promes, Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic is in top form this season, having combined for 22 goals and 21 assists in all competitions.
Feyenoord defender Sven van Beek, who is yet to make an appearance in the 2019-20 campaign and midfielder Yassine Ayoub, who has played a total of 30 minutes this term are both confirmed absentees for the visitors.
Nicolai Jorgensen and Rick Karsdorp are also doubtful for the following Klassieker, having both missed the Europa League trip to Young Boys midweek.
De Klassieker can usually be relied upon for entertainment, with five of the last six games seeing at least three goals scored.
Feyenoord was victorious in their most recent league encounter, absolutely thrashing their rivals with a 6-2 win in Rotterdam back in January.
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord) October 24, 2019
Their last win in Amsterdam, however, came August 2005. The Red and Whites visited the Johan Cruyff Arena 16 times in all competitions since then, losing 14 of those encounters.
The 6-2 win from January is Feyenoord’s only win in the last 14 Klassiekers home and away in the Dutch Eredivisie.
In the league, Ajax is currently on a 14-game winning run at the Johan Cruyff Arena. The last side that went home unbeaten from Amsterdam is Heerenveen thanks to Kik Pierie’s last-gasp equalizer last January.