Two sides with an illustrious history are set to match wits at the awe-inspiring Santiago Bernabeu. Nine time Champions Real Madrid will duel four time champions Ajax in a Group D tie.
Real Madrid are at the top of the table after a narrow victory over Dinamo Zagreb while Ajax drew Lyon in their first match in Amsterdam.
Los Merengues have shown inconsistent form as of late. Even though they filled the back of the net six times vs Rayo Vallecano, Jose Mourinho’s side failed to score in two previous matches against Racing and Levante. When Real Madrid are in top form, they are one of the best clubs in the world. But they don’t show at all times which leaves “The Special One” outwardly frustrated and confused.
Madrid are of course led by the wondrous Cristiano Ronaldo whose flair and finish rank second to none in the world. His hat trick against Rayo was all that Madrid really needed. When Ronaldo is on he’s a joy to watch. Real Madrid will deploy a three-man front line at times with Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain partnering up with Ronaldo.The midfield has gone through many transitions with Xabi Alonso being the lone constant. Expect to see Mesut Ozil in the starting eleven while Sami Khedira will probably sit on the bench due to a growing feud with Maurinho. The back line has been shaky at times but Sergio Ramos remains a stern component in the back. Iker Casillias has been a little off form so far but has the talent to recover and be a wonderful keeper.
While being undefeated so far, Ajax have also been lost at sea at times. Sitting third in Eredivise, de Godenzonen are lacking pace and style that is the trademark of past Ajax sides. The partnership of Miralem Sulejmani and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson can be an enterprising partnership but they must be more steady and efficient. Siem De Jong leads a midfield that lacks boldness but is pragmatic and solid. Gregory Van Der Wiel is a future star and should be part of Holland’s side in future World Cups.
Prediction. This would have been a crackling tie in 1995 but Ajax lacks the depth and pace to keep up with their Spanish counterparts. Real Madrid wins 3-0.