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Jan 16, 2022 at 11.15am UK
UtrechtFC Utrecht

Maher (20'), Boussaid (45+1')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Antony (5'), Brobbey (19', 45+2')
Mazraoui (65')

Preview: FC Utrecht vs. Ajax - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: FC Utrecht vs. Ajax - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between FC Utrecht and Ajax, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

FC Utrecht welcome Ajax to the Stadion Galgenwaard on Sunday aiming to end a run of five matches across all competitions without a victory.

On the other hand, the visitors make the trip this weekend in search of a fourth consecutive victory across all competitions.

Match preview

Ajax capped off 2021 with a 5-0 demolition of Fortuna Sittard at the Johan Cruyff ArenA on December 21.

Goals from Daley Blind, Antony and Devyne Rensch put Erik ten Hag's men in cruise control before Sebastien Haller put the icing on the cake with a late double.

De Joden remain second in the Eredivisie table, a point behind leaders PSV Eindhoven with just under half of the season left to play.

Standing in their way next is an opposing side who have won just one of the last five meetings between the teams - a 1-0 victory in October's reverse fixture.

Off the back of five away wins on the trot, Sunday's visitors will back themselves to come away with all three points and kick off the new year on a high.

Utrecht had to make do with a point for the third league game running following a 1-1 draw against FC Twente on December 22.

Rene Hake's men trailed for the majority of the contest courtesy of Ricky van Wolfswinkel's opener before salvaging a point in the final knockings through Mimoun Mahi.

The Domstedelingen are seventh in the standings with a slender one-point advantage over the chasing park in the race for continental qualification.

Currently with the second-best goal difference in home games, Sunday's hosts are by no means pushovers and will be keen to give tue defending champions a run for their money.

FC Utrecht Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D

FC Utrecht form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

Ajax Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Ajax form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Andre Onana and top scorer Sebastien Haller will not be available for Ajax as they are away on international duty at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

Noussair Mazraoui has missed the last four games due to a muscle injury and he is joined on the sidelines by Sean Klaiber who continues to nurse a knee problem.

David Neres is also not expected to be included in the matchday squad as he prepares to finalize a winter move to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Utrecht's Christopher Mamengi and Reda Akmum are down with knee injuries and still await their first outing of the season.

Maarten Paes was on fire in the reverse fixture where he made a host to saves to preserve his side's lead and the 23-year-old will be bracing himself for another busy day at the office this weekend.

FC Utrecht possible starting lineup:
Paes; Zagre, Timber, Van der Maarel, Van der Hoorn; Van Overeem, Maher, Ramselaar; Gustafson, Douvikas, Mahi

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Pasveer; Blind, Schuurs, Timber, Rensch; Gravenberch, Klaassen, Berghuis; Tadic, Antony, Danilo

We say: FC Utrecht 1-3 Ajax

With a chance to reclaim top spot albeit temporarily, Ajax will be up for the clash and we are tipping them to come away with all three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Eredivisie Table
1PSV EindhovenPSV19151347242346
5AZ AlkmaarAZ19112637241335
6FC Twente1910543022835
7FC UtrechtUtrecht198563326729
11Go Ahead Eagles1963101931-1221
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk194782130-919
15Willem II1953111838-2018
16Sparta RotterdamSparta192891628-1214
17Fortuna SittardSittard1934122048-2813
18PEC Zwolle1923141132-219
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4West Ham UnitedWest Ham22114741301137
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1911352622436
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2110563530535
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves209471715231
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2161142222029
10Leicester CityLeicester197483336-325
11Crystal Palace215973031-124
13Aston Villa2072112732-523
15Leeds UnitedLeeds205782439-1522
18Norwich CityNorwich2134141045-3513
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2019102043-2312
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