Match Preview: Vitesse vs AFC Ajax

AFC Ajax will begin their defense of the Eredivisie crown with an away trip to Vitesse on Saturday afternoon.

Dutch champions Ajax will be looking to enjoy another amazing campaign, after winning the domestic double last season, for the first time since 2002.

They have already won their first trophy in 2019-20, beating PSV 2-0 in the Johan Cruyff Shield thanks to goals from Kasper Dolberg in the first minute of the game and Daley Blind at the start of the second half.

The Jews will have a few tough weeks ahead of them, as they travel to Greece on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League third-round qualifiers encounter against PAOK.

Ajax reached the semi-finals of the competition last season, so nothing less than securing their place in the group stage would be satisfying for the Eredivisie champions.

Vitesse, on the other hand, finished in fifth in the 2018-19 campaign. However, they failed to qualify for the European competitions, losing 2-0 to Utrecht in the play-off final for a place in the Europa League qualifiers.

Team news

PSV youngster Armando Obispo and Oussama Tannane – both on loan at Vitesse this season are expected to start the 2019-20 Eredivisie opener against the defending champions.

Riechedly Bazoer, who spent four years at Ajax and made 51 appearances for the first team is also ready to face his former club and make his debut for Vitesse.

Erik ten Hag is expected to hand and official Eredivisie debut to the Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez, who came as a replacement for former captain Matthijs de Ligt.

Van de Beek doesn’t know his future yet

Ajax young star, Donny van de Beek, is being wanted by Real Madrid but he says he might stay longer at the Dutch Eredivisie club.

Hakim Ziyech could start the game, after coming on as a substitute in the Super Cup encounter against PSV last week.

Keep an eye on

With Frenkie de Jong leaving the club for Barcelona, Donny van de Beek is expected to be the main playmaker at AFC Ajax this season.

The Dutch midfielder scored 17 goals and provided 13 assists across all competitions in the 2018-19 campaign.

He is in great shape and showed excellent performances in the friendly games throughout the summer. Van de Beek started the campaign with an assist in the 2-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in the Johan Cruyff Shield last weekend.

Head-to-Head

Ajax won six of their last 10 meeting with Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie, with a goal difference fo 17-13.

The Jews noted a 4-0 win in their last encounter at the GelreDome stadium in Arnhem last season thanks to a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar brace and goals from Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic.

Quite amazingly, Ajax and Vitesse have never played a goalless game in the Eredivisie. They’ve met each other 45 games so far, with only two of their encounters finishing without a winner.

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