Ajax Amsterdam is back in the premier class and is preparing for the next adventure. The team of Erik ten Hag has caught after the successful qualification of a quite feasible group and is sometimes one of the favorites, but the exit in the group H seems to be completely open.
Ajax Amsterdam will compete with Lille on Matchday 1 of the premier class. A prediction on the home side from Amsterdam paid off in the new competitive season so far always.
The “Doggen” from Lille have not really presented in premier class form and were able to score in the domestic league only at home. Lille coach Christophe Galtier has analyzed the recent Ajax match on the ground and prepares his team for the difficult task against last year’s semi-finalists.
The dress rehearsal before the CL duel against Ajax was mastered by the “Doggen” from Lille with a 2-1 home win over SCO Angers.
After the failed season opener Ajax Amsterdam is back in the domestic league on title course. With the recent home win over Heerenveen defending champion Ajax was able to regain the championship lead.
It is expected that a duel with PSV Eindhoven will start again, which is why Ajax is not allowed to miss any interruptions on the way to the 35th championship of club history.
Already in the last season, the two Dutch top clubs separated only three points from each other – and despite the double burden of the Champions League. With 119 goals in the domestic league, there was a sensational goal, which the reigning Dutch champions also on CL level could confirm.
The Champions League fairy tale was supposed to end in the semi-final against Tottenham. After a 1-0 away win at the Spurs, it was a comfortable starting position for the second leg. The Dutch 2-0 lead Lucas was able to make up for Spurs and sent Ajax to the Valley of Tears with his third goal in the last minute of injury time.
Since then, a lot has changed in the squad of Ajax. High achievers such as Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt were given. In total, revenues were generated in the summer with nine departures. Despite some investments, there was a rich transfer plus of almost 150 million euros in the end.
The current squad of Ajax Amsterdam can still be seen. With players like Neres, Ziyech or Tadic the offensive is still heavily occupied. In addition, Quincy Promes has been joined by another promising offensive player. However, coach Erik ten Hag is currently complaining about injured Donny van de Beek.
Also right-back Noussair Mazraoui will not be available in the home game against Lille. A similar starter as at the dress rehearsal this weekend seems very likely. So far, Ajax Amsterdam could win all home games of the new competitive season. Will it be there on Tuesday evening?
For the first time since the 2012/13 season, OSC Lille will again participate in the group phase of the Champions League. The “Doggen” presented themselves in the best condition last season and were rewarded with the runner-up behind Superklub PSG. In addition to the prestigious second place behind Paris Saint-Germain, there was thus the direct start right for the premier class.
In the new season, the “Doggen” from Lille started so far bumpy. The home strength from last season is indeed continued with three home victories from three home games, but there was so far no countable in the distance. The away weakness could also be a decisive factor in the Champions League match against Ajax Amsterdam.
To cope with departures from top performers such as Nicolas Pepe, Rafael Leao or Thiago Mendes, the team of Christophe Galtier will still need some time. Promising new entrants have the potential to compensate for the disposals. Most prominently Victor Osimhen, who started as a newcomer in the storm with a strong score of five goals in five Ligue 1 matches.
The “Doggen” could not score a point in the two away games of the new season and yet did not score a single goal on foreign terrain. Last season, OSC Lille had an away balance of 9-5-5. Season-wide are the “Doggen” meanwhile already six away games in series without victory.
In the away game in Amsterdam, coach Galtier will only complain about a single failure. Great changes in the cadre of the “Doggen” are not expected. Lille continues to present itself as harmless on foreign terrain as before, a point win in the first CL game but far in the distance.