The absence of central Daley Blind could lead the coach to draw a defensive line with a Latin American accent, with Lisandro Martínez and Edson Álvarez as centrals and Nicolás Tagliafico exercising his usual left-back position.
A Ajax on a roll, what won 18 of their last 19 games, and a Roma in crisis of results, unable to win in the last three games of Serie A, face in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Europa League, which for the Roman box remained as the main option to reach the next Champions League.
The Ajax is the undisputed leader of the Eredivisie, but has the doubt of who will occupy the goal and drags a series of important losses, among them the one of the central Daley Blind.
The statistics of the whole of Amsterdam are scary this season. They have won 18 of the last 19 games played, taking eleven points to second in the Dutch league, PSV Eindhoven, and defeating Lille (4-2 on aggregate) and Young Boys (5-0) with relative ease. in the previous two qualifying rounds of the European competition.
The Mexican Edson Álvarez has four games in the Europa League, starting every game and playing every minute. In total, Álvarez has 360 minutes in the competition and it should be remembered that Ajax is in the Europa League after finishing third in their group in the Champions League, a competition in which Edson participated in four games and played 123 minutes.
In the four duels that the former America player has in this edition of the Europa League, the Aztec recorded a yellow card, four fouls committed, 241 successful passes out of 267 attempted, 33 balls recovered, three fouls suffered and only one shot on goal. .
However, the coach Erik ten Hag he will not be able to count on some of his key players and he has several last minute doubts. The most important, that of the goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who injured his knee during the warm-up of Heerenven-Ajax (1-2) last Sunday.
“It is not a long-term problem, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to play tomorrow,” Ten Hag said during a press conference today.
Stekelenburg has replaced since last February André Onana, sanctioned one year for doping, which gives third goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen the chance to make his debut in European competition.
The Heerenven-Ajax It was the first match in the Eredivisie for this young 21-year-old goalkeeper, trained in the Emmen and a regular starter in the “A Clockwork Orange” under-21 team.
In addition, Ten Hag will not be able to line up center Daley Blind, whose injury during the Netherlands-Gibraltar last week has put an end to his season.
The absence of the international could lead the coach to draw a defensive line with a Latin American accent, with Lisandro Martínez and Edson Álvarez as centrals and Nicolás Tagliafico exercising his usual left-back position.
The Dutch team will not be able to count on the forward either Sebastian haller, the most expensive signing in the history of Ajax, due to an administrative error, as the club did not register him in the European competition when it acquired his services in the winter market.
Ten Hag resolved the matter by drawing a three-man offensive line in the last two heats of the Europa League, with the Brazilians David Neres and Antony dos Santos on the left and right respectively, and the Serbian Dusan Tadic as center forward.
The casualty chapter is completed by the right side Noussair Mazraoui, due to injury, and it remains to be seen if they will be summoned Perr Schuurs, because he suffers discomfort in one knee, and Sean Klaiber, who just became a father.
In front, Ajax will have a Roma who have not won three games in Serie A and who have significantly moved away from the Champions League zone, which increases the importance of this tie for the Portuguese Paulo Fonseca.
It is precisely the European showcase where the Roma gave his best version this year. Based on good football and goals, he advanced as the leader to the knockout phase and eliminated the Braga y al Shakhtar Donetsk winning roundtrip in both cases.
The Spanish Borja Mayoral, loaned from Real Madrid, comes from scoring two goals in the second leg of the round of 16 against Shakhtar, but aim for the bench, with the Bosnian Edin Dzeko favorite to be a starter up front alongside the Spanish Pedro Rodríguez and Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Also interesting is the particular duel between Ryan Gravenberch and spanish Gonzalo villar, a true talisman for him Roma and a midfielder who had a vertical growth this course.
The Roma is called to raise the level against “big” teams, after a season in which it has never managed to win in the A league against rivals with similar or higher level.
He drew and lost against him Juventus, he lost twice against him Naples and also surrendered to him Atalanta and Lazio.
The Ajax and AS Roma they have only met once in European competition, in the second group stage of the Champions League season 2002/03, with victory for the Dutch by 2-1.
Ajax: Stekelenburg (o Scherpen); Tagliafico, Martínez, Álvarez, Rensch; Kudus, Gravenberch, Klaassen; Neres, Tadic, Antony dos Santos.
Roma: Pau López; Mancini, Cristante, Ibañez; Bruno Peres, Veretout, Villar, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Pedro; Dzeko.
Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)
Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena.