Nothing to separate Dutch giants
Sunday afternoon sees the top two sides in Dutch football duke it out at the summit of the Eredivisie, with only a single point separating hosts Ajax Amsterdam and perpetual rivals PSV Eindhoven. Both clubs are free-scoring, with the home side nearing an average of four per game in 2020/2021. Nevertheless, they'll find Boeren far more difficult to break down than many of the other teams they've faced thus far, and it could result in a game lacking in goals. Read our preview here:
Klaas-Jan still on the hunt?
Ajax have been renowned for nurturing talent through their youth system for well over three decades now, and that remains as true today as it's ever been. One man who wasn't a graduate but instead came through at Sunday's opponents is evergreen striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The 37 year old is expected to lead the line at the tip of head coach Erik ten Hag's favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, where the poacher will look to profit from the many floated crosses put into the area. Usually dominant in the air, he could find his match in the central defensive pairing of Olivier Boscagli and the versatile Jordan Teze. Doubtlessly, he'll remain well supported by the trio behind him, especially Dušan Tadić's angled runs and ability to create space. Between the sticks, the highly-rated André Onana is a huge instigator of their attacks, embodying the new goalkeeping ideals of judging when to come off his line and excellent short passing with the more traditional strength of possessing excellent reflexes.
Cody's with the program
One of many success stories this term under the watchful gaze of head coach Roger Schmidt has been the duo up top in a conventional 4-4-2. Together, Noni Madueke and Cody Gakpo are only as old as alumni Huntelaar, and are starting to make those positions their own. Whilst the former is a selfless provider of chances, the latter has an excellent all-round package, allying timely defensive contributions with the utility of making any role across the attacking third his own. Their shape allows them to play effectively on the counter and make disguised runs for the midfielders to profit from. They are assisted in no small part by World Cup winner Mario Götze, who is still only 28 himself. The German schemer is well and truly back from the wilderness, and has been a key factor in just how close PSV are running Ajax in the standings at the time of writing.
Nine tenths of the law
Although Eindhoven are strong on the counter, they prefer to control the game in the opposition's half with a short passing style. In this regard, they're very similar to their hosts, and whilst the shapes differ somewhat, there's a feeling that they might cancel each other when it comes to the clash at the Johan Cruijff Arena. Consequently, betway are offering generous odds of 8.00 for a 1-1 draw.