Preview: Ajax vs. RKC Waalwijk – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Eredivisie clash between Ajax and RKC Waalwijk, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following a shock defeat in their last league outing, Ajax will look to strengthen their place at the top of the Eredivisie table on Sunday, when they host RKC Waalwijk.

A loss to Go Ahead Eagles has seen the hosts’ lead cut to just two points, while their visitors are now four points ahead of the bottom three after a concerning run of form.


Match preview

© Reuters

Despite an expectedly strong and consistent start to the season under Erik ten HagAjax struggled to shake off PSV Eindhoven in the race for the Eredivisie title, as they continuously battled for top spot while cruising through their Champions League group with a perfect record.

Erik ten Hag’s side finally looked to have gained a notable lead over their challengers with a run of seven straight league wins spanning December, January and February, in which they scored 21 goals and only conceded once.

That saw De Godenzonen move further clear at the top of both the league’s defensive and attacking charts, with no other side coming close to scoring as many as their 71 or conceding as few as the seven goals they have shipped, while ten Hag’s men gained a five-point lead over second place for the first time this season.

However, after a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie with Benfica, their lead was quickly slashed at the weekend, as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to the newly-promoted Go Ahead Eagles , with Steven Berghuis‘s goal not enough to salvage a result after Inigo Cordoba and Philippe Rommens had the hosts 2-0 up in the first half.

As a result, they now sit just two points above PSV, who continued applying pressure with another victory, meaning the Amsterdam side will be desperate to make an instant return to winning ways in the league after recording a 2-0 KNVB-Beker semi- final win over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.

Ajax's Steven Berghuis celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates on December 7, 2021© Reuters

They welcome an RKC Waalwijk side who will be keen for a win of their own in their bid to move further away from the threat of relegation after a difficult run of results.

Finding themselves in the mix at the bottom end of the table, Sunday’s visitors began the new year in impressive fashion, recording back-to-back victories over Go Ahead Eagles and Fortuna Sittard in January to gain a cushion over the bottom three.

However, they have been unable to add to that since, winning just a single point from their last four outings as they firstly suffered 3-1 and 2-0 defeats to Willem II and Feyenoord alongside a 4-0 cup thrashing at the hands of AZ Alkmaar.

Joseph Oosting‘s side then looked to have picked up a vital 1-0 away win at NEC thanks to Richard van der Venne‘s goal, only for Jonathan Okita to snatch a point for the hosts dying in the minutes, before RKC suffered another defeat last time out.

Dimitris Limnios A 2-1 away victory for Twente in the 90th minute, cruelly denying Oosting’s men a share secured of the spoils, and they will now look to bounce back from their disappointing run to increase their four-point lead over the relegation zone.

Ajax Eredivisie form:

Ajax form (all competitions):

RKC Waalwijk Eredivisie form:

RKC Waalwijk form (all competitions):


Team News

Ajax Amsterdam's Dusan Tadic celebrates scoring their first goal with Steven Berghuis on February 23, 2022© Reuters

Ajax remain without Sean Claiber and forward Brian Brobbey due to injuries, while Zakaria Labyad and Mohammed Ihattaren are major doubts.

Although kisses Maarten Stekelenburg and Remko Pasveer are sidelined, Andre Onana has returned from his long suspension, and the Cameroon international will continue to feature between the sticks before his departure in the summer.

Sebastien Haller will again lead a star-studded front line also featuring Steven Berghuis, Antony and Dusan Tadic.

Ryan Gravenberg was reduced to a substitute appearance in the defeat to Go Ahead Eagles, but the 19-year-old should return to the midfield unit this weekend.

RKC Waalwijk also have several players out due to injuries, with Sebbe Augustijns, Hans Mulder, David Min and custodian Joel Pereira all sideslined for Sunday’s clash.

Jens Odgaard and Michael Kramer form a dangerous front line, having each netted eight league goals this term.

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Onana; Rensch, Timber, Martinez, Blind; Alvarez, Gravenberg; Antony, Berghuis, Tadic; Haller

RKC Waalwijk possible starting lineup:
Vaessen; Gaari, Meulensteen, Adewoye, Touba, Buttner; Anita, Oukili, Van Der Venne; Odgaard, Kramer


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We say: Ajax 3-0 RKC Waalwijk

Looking to bounce back from a disappointing result last weekend, we see Ajax coming out firing on home turf at the weekend.

Ten Hag has a strong squad to field, and we expect them to outclass the strugglers in their bid to stay at the summit ends of the division, given their eye-catching records at both of the pitch.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a draw 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.Draw:data


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