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3 Reasons why Real Madrid vs Ajax is THE match to watch out for

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
4.96K   //    17 Dec 2018, 18:36 IST

Ajax represents the first hurdle for Real Madrid
Ajax represents the first hurdle for Real Madrid

The Champions League Round of 16 draw took place on Monday and we have several tasty encounters in store for us.

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona go up against the high-flying Lyon as they seek to end their wait for a Champions League crown since 2015. The other French side in the draw, PSG, were handed a blockbuster clash with Manchester United.

Similarly, other English teams, apart from Manchester City were accorded a tricky draw. While Spurs are paired against the irresistible Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool will have to outwit Bayern Munich if they are to go one better than last term.

On the other hand, two favourites in Juventus and Atletico Madrid will clash swords with the guarantee that only one would emerge from the rubble. Yet, the most intriguing match-up of them all could be between Real Madrid and Ajax.

The Ajax team of yesteryear was a thing of beauty and they haven’t really been able to hit those heights since. However, this season, they have shown massive improvement as they made the knock-out stage. In the process, they emerged from a group also containing Bayern and Benfica.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, have been struggling after the departure of Ronaldo and Zidane. Despite qualifying top of the group, the defending champions had to endure a pair of humiliating losses to CSKA Moscow in the league phase.

Thus, the contrasting fortunes of the two teams makes for an interesting narrative. Through this article, we would look at three reasons why this game could just turn out to be the most enthralling of them all.


#3. Real Madrid’s Champions League pedigree

Real Madrid just haven't turned up on most occasions
Real Madrid just haven't turned up on most occasions

Real Madrid have endured a sticky spell since the turn of the season. While there are many who would point to the absence of a certain Portuguese on the pitch, it is arguably the Frenchman in the dugout that they’re missing most.

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Having tried Lopetegui for a brief period, Real Madrid handed the reins to Solari. The Argentine started off impressively but has recently hit a roadblock. The crushing defeat at Eibar was followed a few days later by a 3-0 humbling at home to CSKA Moscow.

While the latter result came in the Champions League, those expecting Real Madrid to be pushovers in Europe’s premier club competition may do so at their own peril.

Los Blancos are a proud Champions League outfit and always bring their A-Game to the fore when their European counterparts come calling. Real Madrid’s tally of 13 titles speaks volumes of the above fact.

Even though they might be encountering major problems in the La Liga, one can expect them to turn up when Ajax knock at the Bernabeu door. The Champions League music gets some of their biggest stars going and if they are on song, we might just have a classic in store for us.

However, if Real Madrid fail to show up, Ajax have displayed the ability to shred them to pieces.

Thus, these aspects make for a fascinating game.

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