Heracles away is difficult
Ajax has visited Heracles 22 times before in competitions. Ajax won thirteen times, while losing five times. The points were divided four times. The biggest away win over Heracles was achieved by Johan Cruijff’s Ajax in the 1985/1986 season. His team at the time shot mercilessly hard and with an old football shoe: 1-8. Marco van Basten preferred to make five goals.
Heracles and Ajax already met in the Johan Cruijff Arena at the beginning of this season. Ajax won comfortably 4-1 on August 12. Jakov Medic had a moment of glory with an effective strike from a great distance. Mohammed Kudus was also present. He doubled the score. Steven Bergwijn scored the other two goals. For a moment we thought it could be a fun season.
The fact that Heracles away is a difficult job in any case is evident from a recent list of results. Not so long ago, Ajax lost three times in a row in Almelo: in the 2017/2018 season (2-1), the 2018/2019 season (1-0) and the 2019/2020 season (1-0). The last edition of Heracles away was played in the 2021/2022 season. No goals were scored during that match: 0-0.
We also remember the salonremise in April 2014. The score was 1-1. Both parties were very happy with that. With that result, Ajax was champion and Heracles was retained for the Premier League. After 77 minutes the two teams reached an agreement. Daley Blind later admitted this and stated that Heracles player Simon Cziommer came within the limits with that proposal.
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Van ‘t Schip does not look at competitors
John van ‘t Schip also knows that Heracles away will not be an easy task. “Ajax does not win easily there,” the trainer says own club channel. “They also play on artificial grass. They also have another trainer, Erwin van de Looi, who has organized things differently. That is quite defensive, but also forward-playing football. We have to be able to give a good answer to that.”
With a victory in Almelo, Ajax can catch up on FC Twente, which will play Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Sunday. However, Van ‘t Schip is not involved in that match. “Sure, you see the results, but beyond that you have no control over it. We have control over what we do ourselves. We want to continue to increase the pressure on the positions above us. You have to earn the points yourself.”
Also good to mention: Steven Bergwijn’s participation is far from certain. If the captain does take action, he must be careful. After all, the attacker is on edge with four yellow cards. A yellow print against Heracles means a suspension for the important match against PSV.
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Curiosity in Almelo
Trainer Van de Looi is very curious about what he will receive from his boys on Saturday. “Getting points is the aim of the game. I am very curious to see how our team will perform against Ajax. Ajax will take more risks and we have to use the spaces that we will certainly get.” thus the trainer who doesn’t want to see any drooping heads after conceding a goal. “That is an area for improvement for us.”
Striker Jizz Hornkamp thinks the same as his trainer. “Ajax wants to press high and have a lot of the ball. For us it is important to show courage in possession of the ball. If we can play well under pressure, we will really get that space in depth. We must take advantage of that.”
Van de Looi cannot rely on Anas Ouahim, Lasse Wehmeyer, Nikolai Laursen and Diego van Oorschot. Jetro Willems and Ruben Roosken are doubtful. Furthermore, Samuel Armenteros is waved goodbye. He officially says goodbye before kick-off. The attacker left last summer, but there was no proper farewell at the time.
Heracles and Ajax will play in the Erve Asito on Saturday at 9 p.m. The match is led by Dennis Higler, while Richard Martens is in charge of the VAR.
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The post first appeared on www.ajaxlife.nl