When and where: The Champions League Group D contest kicks-off from the Amsterdam Arena at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Soccer Plus, with a live stream available via FoxSoccer2Go.
Preview: For the third consecutive season, Real Madrid and Ajax face off in the Champions League group phase with the Spanish champions looking to continue their recent dominance of the legendary Dutch outfit.
Ajax are unlikely to be relishing the site of Real, having failed to score in each of those recent four contests, which included two comprehensive 3-0 defeats last season.
Real come into this latest meeting on the back of a morale boosting 5-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. Following a surprising and hugely disappointing start to the season that saw them lose twice in their first four La Liga fixtures, Real’s form appears to have turned around after a thrilling comeback against Manchester City two weeks ago.
Mourinho’s men were staring defeat squarely in the eye, down 2-1 with just four minutes to go, before goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo secured a potentially crucial three points. A victory in Amsterdam on Wednesday and Real will be ideally placed to make the last 16 in what is a potential banana skin of a group, with a double header to come with German champions Borussia Dortmund.
Ajax, meanwhile, already find themselves under huge pressure to get a positive result having succumbed to an 87th minute winner against Dortmund two weeks ago. Frank de Boer’s side have begun the defense of their Eredivisie title with seven games unbeaten although they will perhaps be disappointed to have failed to win on three occasions. They come into the match, though, having secured a massive three points with a 1-0 victory over table-toppers FC Twente on Saturday.
If they are to cause an upset against Real, Ajax will likely need big performances from key creative midfielders Christian Eriksen and captain Siem de Jong. Ajax’s front line is likely to be led by former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel.
D: Rhijn, Moisander, Alderweireld, Blind
M: De Jong, Poulsen, Eriksen
F: Sana, Babel, Boerrigter
Real Madrid (probable)
D: Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
M: Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Prediction: Particularly with the quality provided by the likes of De Jong and Eriksen, Ajax should enjoy plenty of possession, as they did away at Dortmund. However, that quality in the midfield can be undermined at the highest level by a lack of a cutting edge in attack.
Ajax may well give their Spanish opponents a sterner test than they did last season, but the back on form Real should still come away with the three points.
Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid