Ajax coach Erik ten Hag assumes that Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui can participate against APOEL Nicosia from the first minute on Tuesday. The duo is struggling with aches and pains, but has traveled to Cyprus.
"I brought fit players, although we still have to wait for the final training. I expect they can play," Ten Hag said on Monday at his press conference.
Ajax did travel to Cyprus without the injured Quincy Promes on Monday, who, like Ziyech, dropped out against VVV-Venlo on Sunday. Mazraoui already missed that match due to his slight injury.
Ten Hag is wary of APOEL. "They are very ambitious. They have played regularly in the Champions League in recent years and they now expect that again," said the coach, who took a good look at the Cypriots.
"We have been informed and have been to their last two games. They have switched coaches, have five new players and are physically strong."
Competition starts at 9 p.m.
On the way to the play-offs, Ajax barely dealt with the Greek PAOK. APOEL was too strong for the Azerbaijani Qarabag in two games.
APOEL-Ajax starts Tuesday at 9 p.m. and is headed by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The return is next Wednesday at the same time in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.