Excelsior vs Ajax by Meese
After very good performance at home against De Graafschap late in August and a 3:0 victory, players of Excelsior couldn't do much more in away defeat against Zwolle last weekend. Hosts were better from the first minute and the final result could have been even higher margin victory for them, as they missed the penalty kick in the second halftime and couple of more great goalscoring chances.
Their striker Veldwijk scored all three goals, while the defensive lineup of Excelsior looked funny at the moments, not being able to give a real competitive match to their hosts. Anyhow, Excelsior is, as always, focused much more on their home matches where they harvest most of the points - they can't be disappointed with the early start as the team has four points out of five matches, but still will have to show something positive on the road as well, in case they want to stay in Eredivisie which surely is their primary goal. It's hard to see Excelsior doing something more positive here, despite having a victory and a draw so far in two home matches, as they simply don't look like a team who could be able to stop very stong Ajax at the moment. Coach Alfons Groenendijk faces up against his former side missing three players: goalkeeper Alessandro Damen, offensive midfielder Luigi Bruins and forward Stanley Elbers - all three injured from the start of the season.
Ajax already disappointed their fans early in the season when the team got excluded from Champions League qualifiers against Rapid Vienna and now they are mostly focused to their domestic duties and winning the title, something that has been anyway their primary target this season. They do play in Europa League as well and do aim progress to the knock-out stage, but in the end what counts, is whether the team will be domestic champion or not.
Anyhow, they welcomed Celtic on Thursday evening and only took a point in Europa League group stage opener in a 2:2 result. Scottish side was leading twice but the Dutch side managed to respond both times, via Fischer and Schone. It should be mentioned that players of Ajax had more of the ball possession, but somehow weren't as effective as usually. Before that game, team played away to Twente last weekend and only took a point, ending the game with the same 2:2 score. They obviously took the opponent lightly and only started playing from 51st minute on, when the team was already down to nill with two goals and simply had no time later on to completely overturn the game. With two draws behind their back, they are coming here aiming easy three points and proving that the team is still in a good form. Coach Frank de Boer has no serious injury worry for this game and is expected to retain with the same squad. Offensive Viktor Fischer however pushes for the start, at expense of Daley Sinkgraven.
Ajax lost their 100% last weekend, but once they were found into trouble, the team responded well. Knowing that and taking their opponent much more serious this time, players of Ajax shouldn't have real problems obtaining another three pointer.