Ajax coach Erik ten Hag has considerably changed his line-up for the return in the play-offs of the Champions League against APOEL. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Edson Álvarez are in the starting line-up in the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Wednesday.
For Álvarez, who came over from Club América this summer, it is his first base place in Amsterdam service. The Mexican made his debut in the Eredivisie match against VVV-Venlo and he started as a midfielder against APOEL.
Hakim Ziyech and Lisandro Martínez, who so far have always played in the back, complete the midfield of Ajax. Donny van de Beek is missing due to an injury and Noussair Mazraoui is suspended.
Daley Blind has moved a line backwards and forms the central defense duo with Joël Veltman. Sergiño Dest starts as right back and Nicolás Tagliafico is the trusted left back of Ajax.
Huntelaar can start for the first time this season in the front. Dusan Tadic is therefore on the flank. David Neres completes the attack by trainer Ten Hag, while Quincy Promes is sitting on the couch. Last week in outing in Nicosia, Promes was missing due to an injury.
We present to you ... our boys! ❌❌❌ #UCL #ajaapoAvatar
Ajax receives 40 million euros with CL ticket
Ajax against APOEL starts on Wednesday at 9 p.m. and is headed by German referee Felix Zwayer. The first leg ended in 0-0 and so the team from Amsterdam has to work hard to reach the Champions League main tournament through qualifying just like last year.
Also in 2003, 2005 and 2010 Ajax managed to advance through the preliminary rounds to the main tournament of the ball of millions, but in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2015, 2016 and 2017 it went wrong.
If Ajax again wins the Champions League, it may add at least 40 million euros. If things go wrong, for the first time since 1993 there are no Dutch clubs active in the most important European club tournament, after PSV was eliminated by FC Basel in the second heat.
Ajax setup: Onana; Dest, Veltman, Blind, Tagliafico; Martinez, Ziyech, Alvarez; Tadic, Huntelaar, Neres.
Setup APOEL Nicosia: Belec; Jakolis, Merkis, Ioannou, Joaozinho, Mihajlovicl; Tamari, Matic, Lucas Souza, Bezjak; Pavlovic.
See also: Jan Wouters: Ajax is on the right track and will make it to APOEL