Europa League preview | Union Berlin vs Ajax

Ajax prepare for their first major test under interim head coach John Heitinga as they look to improve on the goalless draw at the Johan Cruyff Arena last week against Union Berlin.

The Eredivisie club will visit the Alte Forsterei knowing it is a must-win match if they are to continue their European adventure this season after dropping down from the Champions League group stages but their opponents are in incredible form right now.

Heitinga has turned his side’s fortunes around as he achieves the best start for any Ajax coach in 26 years but now has the tough task of facing a Union Berlin side who have surprised every critic going.

The Bundesliga surprise package find themselves knocking on the door of a six-way title race and level on points with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich separated only by goal difference.

Urs Fischer’s side are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run and dropped points for the first time this weekend in their goalless draw against Schalke – the first time they have blanked in two successive matches in all competitions.

Here is the form from both sides in all competitions:

Union Berlin: W-W-W-D-D

Ajax: W-W-W-D-W

Team news

The hosts will be able to welcome back wing-back Christopher Trimmel and midfielder Janik Haberer who both served suspensions in the first leg in Amsterdam while defender Diogo Leite is doubtful with an illness.

Heitinga is likely to name an unchanged starting XI which won convincingly against Sparta Rotterdam but Davy Klaassen and Brian Brobbey are hoping to start.

GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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