Ajax return to Eredivisie action on Sunday knowing that they must get back to winning ways against Go Ahead Eagles if they are to keep alive their hopes of a first title since 2014. The visitors are adrift from league leaders Feyenoord by six points, while the hosts are in 11th position in the standings and eight points clear of the bottom three.
The defending champions were left stunned by Feyenoord in their top-of-the-table clash before the international break, with the frontrunners scoring soon after the restart before sealing a dramatic and potentially-pivotal triumph with a goal four minutes from time.
Ajax must now take care of their own business and hope that Feyenoord drop points in at least two of their final eight matches if they are to have any chance of lifting the trophy. However, they cannot overlook the fact that the gap to fourth-placed AZ Alkmaar is just two points, making Champions League qualification for next season far from a certainty.
Go Ahead Eagles will be looking to improve on last year’s 13th-placed finish, and they have moved into 11th position after the last-gasp 2-1 victory at FC Utrecht before the international break. Rene Hake’s side have less pressure on their shoulders and will be hoping to spring a surprise on Sunday, having come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at the Johan Cruyff Arena in the reverse fixture.
Here is the latest form ahead of the match:
Go Ahead Eagles: L-L-D-W-L
Winger Steven Bergwijn is a major doubt for Ajax due to injury, which has seen him withdraw from the Netherlands squad.
Meanwhile striker Brian Brobbey could be given a start in the centre if Bergwijn is ruled out, with midfielder Dusan Tadic potentially moving to the left flank.
Alternatively, midfielder Davy Klaassen could be introduced to the middle of the pitch if Heitinga wishes to freshen up the area.
Midfielder Willum Thor Willumsson may get the nod for the Go Ahead Eagles XI following his match-winning substitute appearance against FC Utrecht.
Forward Bobby Adekanye looks set to be dropped, while Jose Fontan may replace Gerrit Nauber in the heart of the defence.