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Ajax vs Real Madrid Predicted Lineups - UEFA Champions League Predicted Lineups and more

1.90K   //    12 Feb 2019, 22:22 IST

The defending champions will be back in action in the Champions League
The defending champions will be back in action in the Champions League

It is that time of the year again as the UEFA Champions League returns for the knockout matches. Three-time defending champions Real Madrid, in a bid to win their fourth consecutive Champions League crown, will get their knockout campaign underway against Dutch giants Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday.

Though this is seen as a battle between two European powerhouses, the recent performances of both these teams in the tournament suggest something else.

While Real Madrid have won the title in four out of the last five years, this is the first time Ajax will be in the knockout stages of the competition since 2005-06, thanks to some brilliant performances from Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong, who will look to impress the Catalan fans by putting on a good show against Real Madrid, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech, and Dusan Tadic.

However, the availability of de Jong will be a concern for Erik ten Hag as the talented youngster played just 70 minutes on his return from injury at Heracles and it remains to be seen whether he will start the match or not.

Centre-back Lisandro Magallan might miss the action against Real Madrid. Even though Ajax have lost just one of their last 21 home matches in European competitions, they have a poor record against Los Blancos, having lost all their previous six matches against the Spanish opponents.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, are coming off the back of a 3-1 win over local rivals Atletico Madrid and this should give Santiago Solari's men a lot of confidence going into the most important part of the season. The visitors will be without Isco and Marcos Llorente for the match.

Probable playing XIs:

Ajax: Onana; Mazraoui, Blind, De Ligt, Tagliafico; Schone, De Jong, Van de Beek; Neres, Tadic, Ziyech

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius