Real Madrid - Ajax : Prediction and Preview for Tuesday's Champion's League Match

 
on September 26 2011 2:11 AM

Real Madrid looks to build off their 1-0 victory against Dinamo Zagreb earlier this month, when they host Dutch club Ajax at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday in Champions League group play action.

Los Galacticos defeated Rayo Vallecano on Saturday off Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick, 6-2, so Jose Mourinho's squad must be feeling confident with their upcoming match. Prior to that victory, Real Madrid had shown signs of weakness in their attack after a scoreless draw with Racing Santander, and 1-0 loss to Levante.

Ajax is currently in third place in the Eredivisie, and has draws in their last three matches against Lyon in Champions League, and against titans PSV and FC Twente in league play.

The club is led by young defenders Jan Vertonghen and Gregory van der Wiel, who should be key in containing Real Madrid's potent attack.

Ajax have some talented attackers of their own, including young Serbian Miralem Sulejmani, and new addition Kolbeinn Sigporsson, of Iceland, who has already scored five goals in six matches for Ajax. Kolbeinn previously played for AZ, where he scored 15 goals in 32 games, and has scored four goals in seven appearances for Iceland.

But it will be the Ajax midfield that will be under the most scrutiny. Manager Frank de Boer will need Christian Eriksen to be a catalyst for the attack, and Theo Jansenn to create goal-scoring opportunities for a club that may not have many chances on the road.

Ajax will likely play defensive, but that strategy can't last 90 minutes, as Mourinho's squad is capable of jumping on the board in the early going.

Real Madrid's attack is among the best in the world. As important as Ronaldo is to the club, Mesut Ozil has proven to be among the most dynamic central midfielders in the game today. The German playmaker entered Saturday's game as a sub in the 29th minute, so he will be in good shape for Tuesday's match.

The Santiago Bernabeu can be an intimidating place to play for opponents, and Real Madrid should feel comfortable against an Ajax club that might be in awe of their surroundings, and their talent-rich hosts.

PREDICTION: Real Madrid struggle to get off quality shots in the first half, but Angel di Maria finds room to penetrate and delivers for the home club just before halftime. The second half is all Real Madrid, as Ajax opens the field up as they attempt to score, which is perfect for Ronaldo and Ozil, as Real Madrid score some safety goals, after Ajax surprises Los Galacticos with a counter-attack of their own.

PREDICTED SCORE: Real Madrid 3, Ajax 1

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