Real Madrid v/s Ajax
Real and Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam play against each other at the Santiago Bernanbeu with the Madrid giants already securing a place in the last sixteen with last match day’s draw against Manchester City while Ajax are still in the hunt to progress through to the UEFA Europa League if they manage to better the result of Manchester City on match day six. Madrid thumped the same Ajax team on match day two of the season by a margin of 4-0 at Amsterdam but manager Jose Mourinho will know a lot has changed since that win.
Real are currently languishing in third place in the Spanish league, a massive 11 points behind arch rivals Barcelona and had they failed to win their derby against Ateltico Madrid this weekend, they would have been 14 points off the pace. But the lead is still being seen enough for Barcelona to see out at the end of the season to take the title from Real Madrid again and as a result, the UEFA Champions League presents Jose Mourinho with the only real credible opportunity to fight for a title that the fans will be happy about.
The Portuguese tactician is already under pressure from the board of the club regarding his position in the club and his failure to win the UEFA Champions League in two attempts, despite having arguably the best and most expensive team on paper in the world. Star forward Cristiano Ronaldo is again expected to lead the line of the Madrid giants as they still have a mathematical chance of overtaking German champions Borussia Dortmund and progress from the group as winners to avoid the likes of Manchester United in the next phase of the competition. Mesut Ozil is also expected to start and so is summer signing Luka Modric, and Brazilian midfielder Kaka might also be given a run out.
Ajax, on the other hand, has limited resources in their hands and if they manage to holdout for a draw and finish the tournament in the Group of Death with Europa League qualification, they will be more than happy as they were rank outsiders with no one giving them a chance but they upset English champions Manchester City at home and the least they deserve is to play in the second level of European competition at the expense of the expensively assembled Manchester City side in the Europa League.