Ajax v Feyenoord, Premier League, November 1, 2009
Dutch football fans are bracing themselves for one of the highlights of the domestic season, as the first De Klassieker is set for Sunday as fourth-placed Feyenoord make the trip to the capital to take on third-placed Ajax Amsterdam.
Needless to say, rivalry between two of the established powerhouses in Dutch football is always fever pitch. Historically the meeting of the clubs has gifted opportunities for rival fans to organise fierce fights between their firms, with several fans having lost their lives in street battles down the years.
Looking to minimise the hooligan aspect so-often associated with De Klassieker, the Dutch football authorities have scheduled the match for an early 11.30 am kick-off, as well as banning away fans from buying tickets for the game.
A couple of videos to bring you.
First, in celebration of De Klassieker, Ajax have put together a few videos chronicling the best 50 goals scored throughout the years between Ajax and Feyenoord.
Secondly, Feyenoord striker Jon Dahl Tomasson has offered his pre-match analysis (in English) of the game to the good people at Part of the Game.TV, in which the forward has criticised the Dutch authorities for the blanket ban on away fans from the match.
The interview can be seen here.
Ignoring the potential off-the-field trouble, on the pitch Martin Jol’s Ajax will be hugely confident of claiming the three points. Statistically, on their own turf Ajax have dominated this fixture down the years having won 29 of the 54 matches, while Feyenoord have won just 11 times. In fact Feyenoord have not won at Ajax since 2005 – a match in which Salomon Kalou and Dirk Kuyt netted the goals from the Rotterdammers.
Presently Ajax are also riding high, and much of that credit has to go to their fantastic Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Despite years of transfer speculation linking Suarez to bigger and better clubs, Ajax have managed to retain his services and the dividends are paying off big-time. Way-out on his own in the top goal-scorer charts, Luis Suarez has already bagged 15 goals in 11 games this campaign and the forward is on track to break Coen Dillen’s famous 1596/57 record of 46 goals in a season.
Martin Jol’s side, unbeaten in 14 matches, also appear to have benfitted from a settled starting XI this season. Aside from Suarez, Demy de Zeeuw, Toby Alderweireld, Gregory van der Wiel, Jan Vertonghen and Maarten Stekelenburg have all played every minute of the season so far, with the Amsterdammers having noticeably the best goal difference in the Eredivisie with a whopping plus-26 advantage. (Ajax are 6/5 to score in both halves.)
Not only are Ajax riding high, but the hosts will also be buoyed by the troubles facing Martin Been’s Feyenoord ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Jon Dahl Tomasson and Sekou Cisse are both suspended after picking up red cards at Sparta several weeks back. Elsewhere, the hugely promising Dutch starlet Leroy Fer and reliable stalwart Giovanni van Bronckhorst are bothÂ out ofÂ the match after succumbing to injuries in recent weeks.
In their absence, Feyenoord may have to start with an out-of-sorts strike-force of Diego Biseswar and Roy Makaay who have scored a total of one goal between them this campaign. That will mean that much will be expected of midfielder Denny Landzaat and Jonathan de Guzman if the visitors are to claim anything out of the game. (Ajax are 21/20 to win to nil)
101gg predicts: Ajax 3 – Feyenoord 0 (10/1)
Full match odds here.