Ajax vs Union Berlin – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 16th February 2023
Johan Cruyff Arena
As part of our Europa League predictions, we preview Union Berlin’s visit to the Johan Cruyff arena. With both teams, particularly the Germans, being in excellent form, are we in for a high quality affair? Read on with our Ajax vs Union Berlin prediction.
Ajax (Champions League)
Royale Union SG
Ajax vs Union Berlin Match Preview
Ajax come into the game after a disappointing Champions League campaign where they came in third place in Group A – behind Napoli and Liverpool. A convincing 4-0 win over the Scottish side Rangers was the perfect start. However, the Dutch lost their next four games against the English and Italians. They beat Rangers in the reverse match 3-1 at Ibrox in the final game, but it was already too late – they had been eliminated from the premier competition. Rangers would have had to defeat Ajax by four or more goals to deny them their place in this Europa League knockout play-off.
Domestically, Ajax have won their last three league games after three draws before that. They have also qualified for the quarter-finals of the Dutch Cup after a win over FC Twente. However, things are not rosy; the Dutch champions sit in third place in the Eredivisie, three points behind Feyenoord and with just six points separating the top five positions.
Union Berlin came through Group D of the Europa League group phase, finishing second behind Belgium’s Union Saint-Gilloise. The group started poorly for the Germans as they lost their first two games – first at home to the Belgians, then away in Braga. However, they rallied to win their final four games and finish with 12 points. They had to win the last match, too, or Braga would have finished in second and consigned them to third.
However, Union now enter this game in fantastic form. They have not been defeated since 13 November, the weekend before the World Cup commenced. They have won all five Bundesliga games since the restart, scoring 11 goals, and they sit at the top of the form table alongside Dortmund. They have also qualified for the quarter-finals of the German Cup. Sitting in second in the Bundesliga, just one point behind Bayern, the capital side have dreams of a treble this season.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Baas, Grillitsch, Kaplan, Bergwijn
Will Not Play:
Might Not Play: Busk, Schafer
Will Not Play: Haberer, Trimmel
Ajax vs Union Berlin Lineups (Predicted)
Ajax (4-3-3): Rulli; Wijndal, Timber, Alvarez, Rensch; Taylor, Berghuis, Klaassen; Conceicao, Tadic, Kudus
Union Berlin (3-5-2): Ronnow; Leite, Knoche, Doekhi; Giesselmann, Seguin, Khedira, Laidouni, Juranovic; Behrens, Becker
Union are the form team coming into the game. They will try to put pressure on Ajax in Amsterdam and unsettle the home crowd. Ajax have been up and down this season, but this should be an exciting affair between two talented teams. Ajax enjoy getting the ball down and passing it around, whereas Union are more of a counter-attacking, direct team. Indeed, the Germans rank low in the Bundesliga for possession, completed passes, expected goals, and shots. Union don’t mess around; they attack in transitions with their wingers and wing-backs and look to score goals. They are also ultra-clinical, outperforming their expected goals stats.
This game could be an end-to-end encounter. Ajax will likely have more of the ball, but Union could be a real threat and ruthless on the break. They are defensively strong and press aggressively. They have pace, height and crossing ability and will look to play the ball in for Behrens to attack and for him to pass. Ajax will likely play a more measured and controlled game, as Tadic is more of a false 9 with exceptional dribbling, passing and creative qualities.
We think this game will finish a draw. Union are in terrific form and scoring plenty of goals. However, Ajax have the home advantage and probably have the more talented team on paper. Union have been the surprise of the Bundesliga this season. The Dutch club will not take them lightly, and we foresee goals in a close contest. All should still be to play for in Berlin next week.
Ajax 2-2 Union Berlin
Ajax vs Union Berlin Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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