Ajax face Brighton in the Europa League on Thursday evening in a clash that sees the 11th place side in the Eredivisie come up against the 7th place side in the Premier League. Ajax have endured their worst ever start to an Eredivisie campaign, winning just one of their opening eight league matches under the management of Maurice Steijn. Since the appointment of John Van ‘t Schip over a week ago, the Amsterdammers have won both of their games.
Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton are also experiencing a fairly bleak period. The Seagulls have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions, and that victory was their 2-0 win over Ajax at the Amex. This Thursday’s clash takes place at the John Cruyff Arena, where the hosts will be keen to keep up their perfect start under Van ‘t Schip.
Brighton are currently third in Group B, level on points (4) with second place AEK Athens. A victory on Thursday would give the Seagulls a huge chance at progressing to the knockout stages. As for Ajax, they currently sit rock bottom of the group on just two points. A victory is vital for the Dutch giants.
Both sides have an abundance of incredibly talented footballers. Brighton’s defenders will be challenged with the task of keeping Chuba Akpom quiet. Akpom, who previously experienced a loan spell with Brighton back in 2017, has finally found form at Ajax following his move from Middlesbrough in the summer. The English striker has netted three times in Ajax’s last two games. Brighton’s João Pedro has seen four of his six goals this season come in the Europa League. The Brazilian will be looking to add to his tally on Thursday evening.