Click here to join live coverage of Ajax Amsterdam vs. Real Madrid, November 23, 2010. Kick off 2:45pm EST.

It is a tie which only the UEFA Champions League can put together with two former champions meeting when Real Madrid travel to Amsterdam on Tuesday to face Ajax in a Group G encounter in match day 5.

Madrid has already qualified for the knock-outs and will need just a point to secure top spot in the group. Jose Mourinho's men have been top form, qualifying for the knockouts with two games to spare after their draw with AC Milan on match day 4.

The Los Blancos will be without three important players for the tie - Ricardo Carvalho, Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain. They will also have an eye on the first El Classico of the season on the coming Monday. However, manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he would field a full-strength squad.

The Portuguese manager said, Three players cannot play, those who have played almost every match so far but we want to win and continue our story in this Champions League. We want to go for first place. I have confidence in my players and that there will be a good team tomorrow. I want to change as little as possible, I want to build a team and therefore you need stability.

We will do all we can to win and not to lose, and if we manage less than a win it will only be because Ajax will be in top shape tomorrow. There is a lot at stake for Ajax tomorrow. They have two more matches that will decide if they continue or not, so they will give everything for that. For us it is important to maintain our top level to be able to resist Ajax, he added.

Ajax is one of the three teams in group G, along with AC Milan and AJ Auxerre, to fight for the second and last place for qualification into the knock-outs.

In their opening match of the Champions League this season, they lost 2-0 against Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. The scoreline, on that occasion, was kind to Ajax as Madrid missed a host of opportunities and could have scored many more.

Ajax hasn't been impressive in their domestic league either and they currently sit fourth, six points off leaders PSV Eindhoven. However, it should be remembered that Ajax are a team in transition, with a number of promising young players coming through.

Their coach, Martin Jol, who has locked horns with Mourinho during his time as manager of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, acclaimed that his counterpart was the 'best'.

He (Mourinho) might be without players, but otherwise he will just play with the strongest team. In England I faced him five or six times and I also met him a couple of times at meetings we had with all the coaches in England. He often has his team play the same way. You also see he always has his stars playing. Now he has had to change a bit, but it does not really matter if they are replaced by others. Mourinho is a big coach, a hugely skilled craftsman who from the start of his career has got the maximum out of his teams and has proven that in his line of work he probably is the best, he said.

About his team, Jol said, We always play to win. Doing that we sometimes give away a lot of space, and then the other side can also win. In the midfield we often play with Demy de Zeeuw and Siem de Jong who are also attacking players. We have two goals. One is to continue our stay in Europe and the other is to try to finish as high as possible in this group.

Team News 

For Ajax, Urby Emanuelson is doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury during the weekend game against PSV Eindhoven. Oleguer is also a doubt after missing out on the weekend with a hamstring problem while Florian Jozefzoon and Evander Sno are both out injured.

Madrid has Ricardo Carvalho, Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira all out injured.


Though they have already qualified, Real Madrid will want to secure top spot. Ajax will be desperate to get something of this game, and this will probably end up in creating holes in their defence. Madrid has too much quality and a 2-0 Madrid victory looks likely. 


Click here to join live coverage of Ajax Amsterdam vs. Real Madrid, November 23, 2010. Kick off 2:45pm EST.