Europa League Preview: Getafe v Ajax
Ajax head to Spain on Thursday for the first leg of their Europa League clash with Getafe. Kick-off is at 5.55pm.
Ajax had ambitions to go far in the Champions League again but a defeat at home to Valencia at the end of last year, saw them finish third in their group and drop into the Europa League.
The Eredivisie leaders will want to win the competition but they have been handed a tough first test in Spanish side Getafe. Coached by José Bordalás, Getafe currently sit third in the La Liga table.
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Getafe are known for having a physical style of play and Erik ten Hag is hoping his team can match them, “Sometimes another means is also needed, such as the long ball. The point is that you recognise when you have to, or when you have to try to get away from it. Smart play is required. Play in common? Yes, sometimes you have to play in common. But you have to keep your head on it. “
Ajax go into the game on the back of three straight victories but their performances have been criticised in the Dutch press. Getafe were on a four game winning streak but at the weekend they lost a tight game at Barcelona 2-1.
Ajax are without the suspended Andre Onana, meaning Bruno Varela will start in goal. Hakim Ziyech and Daley Blind both played 45 minutes at the weekend and could be back in action.
David Neres remains out injured along with Joel Veltman and
Possible Ajax line-up: Varela, Dest, Tagliafico, Blind, Martinez, Eiting, Van de Beek, Tadic, Ziyech, Promes, Babel
Getafe will be without the injured Antunes and Manojlovic but Damian Suarez can return after serving a suspension against Barcelona.
Possible Getafe line-up: Soria, Nyom, Olivera, Dakonam, Etxeita, Arambarri, Maksimovic, Etebo, Cucurella, Molina, Mata
Ajax couldn’t have been handed a tougher tie at this stage of the competition and if they are not at their best then they will come away from Spain with their future in the competition on the ropes.
Getafe are a physical team, playing with a lot of confidence and they will look to shut down Ajax. Ten Hag’s side will have to match their style at times and look to take any chances that come their way.
Last season, Ajax had several great away performances, and a win at Getafe would be another one if it can be achieved. Ten Hag would also take a score draw in a tricky stadium.