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Jan 23, 2022 at 1.30pm UK
PSVPSV Eindhoven
Gotze (53')
Obispo (27'), Schmidt (50'), Junior (79'), Gutierrez (82')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Brobbey (34'), Mazraoui (74')
Alvarez (24')

Preview: PSV Eindhoven vs. Ajax - prediction, team news, lineups

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

The top two sides in the Eredivisie table will do battle in a potentially season-defining clash on Sunday, as Ajax travel to take on PSV Eindhoven at the Philips Stadion.

The hosts currently sit one point ahead of their opponents after 19 games of the season, with both teams having won their last three league games.

Match preview

In their search for a first Eredivisie title since 2018, PSV Eindhoven have enjoyed an eye-catching first half to the campaign, and they top the table after 19 games as a result, boasting a tally of 46 points.

Roger Schmidt's side come into Sunday's crucial clash against their title rivals having won their last five games in the Dutch top flight, firstly bouncing back from a disappointing draw with 4-1 and 2-1 victories over Utrecht and NEC respectively.

They followed that up with another 4-1 thrashing against RKC Waalwijk before extending the winning run to five games by defeating Go Ahead Eagles 2-0 and Groningen 1-0 most recently, with Mario Gotze's early goal making the difference and keeping his side at the summit.

Now on the back of a 2-1 cup win over Telstar, PSV head into what is arguably one of their most important league games in the last three years as they look to move further away from the side that have taken their crown recently.

Ajax arrive looking to bridge the slender one-point gap and leapfrog their hosts, who have taken control of pole position in recent weeks.

Boasting both the best attacking record in the league with 59 goals scored and the strongest defence with only four goals conceded in 19 games, the Amsterdam outfit may be scratching their heads as to how they do not sit at the summit of the top flight.

However, they can attribute their slight drop to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of AZ Alkmaar in December, as Sebastian Haller's equaliser was followed by a Zakaria Aboukhlal winner for the visitors in the final 10 minutes.

Erik ten Hag's men have responded emphatically since that loss, scoring 23 goals and not conceding in five games across Eredivisie and KNVB cup action.

Dominant wins over Feyenoord, Fortuna Sittard and Utrecht have seen them keep top spot in sight, while their most recent outing produced an eye-catching 9-0 cup win over Excelsior Maassluis, as Danilo found the net four times alongside a Mohamed Daramy brace and goals from Nicolas Tagliafico, Youri Regeer and Kristian Hlynsson.

With a third straight Eredivisie title still firmly within reach alongside an eye-catching Champions League campaign thus far, Ten Hag's side will look to pick up a crucial victory on Sunday to move back to the top of the division against a side who seem relentless in their bid to bring the trophy back to Eindhoven.

PSV Eindhoven Eredivisie form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

PSV Eindhoven form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

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

Team News

PSV Eindhoven are without midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations representing Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, Eran Zahavi, Ryan Thomas and Noni Madueke are all sidelined by injuries, although Schmidt still has plenty of attacking options with the likes of Carlos Vinicius, Mario Gotze, Ritsu Doan, Yorbe Vertessen and Cody Gakpo all vying for starts.

The latter in particular has shone this season, netting six goals and providing 10 assists in just 14 Eredivisie appearances.

Ajax have also lost players to the Africa Cup of Nations - forward Sebastian Haller being a notable omission, with the Ivorian having netted 22 goals in 24 games across all competitions so far this term.

Midfielder Mohammed Kudus is also on international duty in Cameroon, while goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will miss out through injury.

In the absence of Haller, Brian Brobbey will continue to lead the attack after his recent league brace, while Antony has shone on the right-hand side with seven Eredivisie goals so far this campaign.

The young duo of Lisandro Martinez and Jurrien Timber will again partner up at the heart of a back four that has allowed just four league goals all season.

PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup:
Drommel; Teze, Boscagli, Obispo, Junior; Gutierrez, Van Ginkel; Doan, Gotze, Gakpo; Vertessen

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Pasveer; Mazraoui, Timber, Martinez, Blind; Alvarez, Gravenberch; Antony, Berghuis, Tadic; Brobbey

We say: PSV Eindhoven 1-1 Ajax

In a battle between two sides with impeccable records in the Eredivisie this season, any outcome is possible, and we expect them to cancel out each other's efforts in a stalemate.

While Ajax lead the league at both ends of the pitch, their hosts come a close second in both departments, and, with Haller missing and the incentive of staying top, we fancy them to earn a share of the spoils.

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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2PSV EindhovenPSV20151448262246
4FC Twente2011543122938
5AZ AlkmaarAZ20113637241336
7FC UtrechtUtrecht2095636261032
12RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk205782331-822
13Go Ahead Eagles2064102032-1222
15Willem II2053121839-2118
16Sparta RotterdamSparta2028101631-1514
17Fortuna SittardSittard2034132150-2913
18PEC Zwolle2033141232-2012
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