On at 07:33 CEST
A Ajax on a roll, having won 18 of their last 19 games, and one Rome in crisis of results, unable to win in the last three games of the A series, will face this Thursday in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Europa League, which for the Roman box remained as the main option to reach the next League of Champions.
The Ajax is the undisputed leader of the Eredivisie, but he has the doubt of who will occupy the goal and drags a series of important losses, among them that of the central Daley blind.
Erik ten hag he will not be able to count on some of his key players and he has several last minute questions. The most important, that of the goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who injured his knee during the warm-up of Heerenven-Ajax (1-2) last Sunday. “It’s not a long-term problem, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to play tomorrow,” he said. Have hag this Wednesday during a press conference.
Stekelenburg has replaced since last February André Onana, sanctioned one year for doping, which gives third goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen the chance to make his debut in European competition.
The Dutch team will not be able to count on the forward either Sebastian haller, the most expensive signing in the history of Ajax, due to an administrative error, as the club did not register him in the European competition when it took over his services in the winter market. Thus, the lead is expected to consist of Antony, Neres and Tadic.
Opposite, the Ajax will have one Rome who has three games without winning in the A series and that he significantly moved away from the Champions League zone, which increases the importance of this tie for the Portuguese Paulo fonseca.
It is precisely the European showcase where Rome gave his best version this year. Based on good football and goals, he advanced as the leader to the knockout phase and eliminated the Braga and to Shakhtar Donetsk winning roundtrip in both cases.
The Spanish Borja Mayoral, loaned from Real Madrid, comes from scoring two goals in the second leg of the round of 16 against Shakhtar, but aim for the bench, with the Bosnian Edin dzeko favorite to be a starter up front alongside the Spanish Pedro Rodriguez already Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Also interesting is the particular duel between Ryan gravenberch and spanish Gonzalo villar, a true talisman for the Rome and a midfielder who had a vertical growth this course. The Rome he is called upon to raise the bar against “big” teams, after a season in which he has never managed to win in Serie A against rivals of a similar level or higher.
Ajax: Stekelenburg (or Scherpen); Tagliafico, Martínez, Álvarez, Rensch; Kudus, Gravenberch, Klaassen; Neres, Tadic, Antony dos Santos.
Rome: Pau López; Mancini, Cristante, Ibañez; Bruno Peres, Veretout, Villar, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Pedro; Dzeko.