Thursday 13 Apr

Ajax vs Schalke Match Preview

13 Apr 2017 Keith M. INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

Ajax Amsterdam

  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

vs

Kick-off
19:05 GMT
13 April 2017

FC Schalke 04

  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Kick-off
19:05 GMT 13 April 2017

Schalke make the trip from Germany to the Netherlands as they hope to book their place in the UEFA Europa League semi-final. The game at the Amsterdam Arena will be the first of a two-legged quarter-final tie and will be pivotal in deciding which of the two sides will get into the hat for the next round. The two sides will return to the Veltins-arena next Thursday for the second-leg, where we will find out which team will see themselves through.

STATS

  • Ajax have lost once this season in the Europa League and it came in the first-leg of the last round as Copenhagen defeated them 2-1. They turned the tie around at home with a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Danish champions and deserved to get into the quarter-final.
  • Schalke have also only lost once in the competition this season and it came in their final group game after they had already confirmed their qualification as they were beaten 2-0 by Red Bull Salzburg. They made it through to the quarter-final on away goals with a 2-2 draw away at Borussia Monchengladbach after a 1-1 home draw.
  • It’s actually one of Ajax’s youngest players who leads their scoring chart in Europe as 19-year-old, Kasper Dolberg, has scored 4 goals in the competition so far. He is certainly establishing himself as one of Europe’s best young players.
  • There hasn’t been one outstanding goal scorer for Schalke in the Europa League this season but with 16 goals, they haven’t struggled in front of goal. They haven’t needed to rely on one player for goals, which makes them very dangerous in attack.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides haven’t met in European competition so this game will be the first between the two. With two very defensively-focused sides, there shouldn’t be many goals in this first-leg, leaving the tie wide open in the second-leg.

AJAX NEWS

The Dutch side will be desperate to get a good first-leg result under their belts to take into the second-leg at the Veltins-arena. With only one absence for the hosts, they have a great chance of doing just that. Lasse Schone misses out through a yellow-card suspension but there’s a big boost for Ajax heading into the game. Their top scorer, Dolberg, comes back into the team after suffering a groin injury.

Latest matches in UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage: Ajax Amsterdam

16.03.2017 UEFA Ajax Amsterdam FC Copenhagen 2:0 W
09.03.2017 UEFA FC Copenhagen Ajax Amsterdam 2:1 L
23.02.2017 UEFA Ajax Amsterdam Legia Warsaw 1:0 W
16.02.2017 UEFA Legia Warsaw Ajax Amsterdam 0:0 D

SCHALKE NEWS

An away goal in Amsterdam will be vital for Schalke’s hopes of progression but with several absences, it won’t be plain sailing. Breel Embolo and Naldo will see out the rest of the season on the sidelines while Benjamin Stambouli and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting are both missing the game through injuries. However, Sead Kolasinac will make his return for the match and will be a big boost for his side’s chances of victory.

Latest matches in UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage: FC Schalke 04

16.03.2017 UEFA Monchengladbach FC Schalke 04 2:2 D
09.03.2017 UEFA FC Schalke 04 Monchengladbach 1:1 D
22.02.2017 UEFA FC Schalke 04 PAOK FC 1:1 D
16.02.2017 UEFA PAOK FC FC Schalke 04 0:3 W

SUMMING UP!

With home advantage, it’s Ajax who go into the match as favourites but Schalke won’t provide easy opposition. The German side have been good on the road in Europe this season and will look to carry on that trend against Ajax. Both sides will be desperate not to concede so the game will probably be quite a cagey, low-scoring affair but should still be a good game for the neutral.

About the author - Keith M.

Dedicated tipster with five years of experience. Devoted Arsenal fan and sports writer.

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