Ajax v Real Madrid preview
De Boer convinced Dutch champions will get at least a draw
Last Updated: December 7, 2011 10:15am
De Boer: Confident of result
Ajax need a point at home to Real Madrid to guarantee joining their opponents on Wednesday evening in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Dutch champions are virtually assured of their spot in the knockout stage anyway given they are three points clear of third-placed Lyon - with whom they have twice drawn 0-0 - and hold a greatly superior goal difference over the French outfit.
Nonetheless, with Lyon taking on the whipping boys of the group Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, Ajax coach Frank de Boer does not want to leave anything to chance and is expecting his players to settle the issue themselves.
"I am convinced that we will get at least a point against Real Madrid," said De Boer.
"In that case, we will not need the help of Zagreb."
Ajax will be without Toby Alderweireld due to a hamstring injury sustained in training, but defensive colleague Gregory van der Weil could make his comeback to the side.
Forwards Miralem Sulejmani and Dimitri Bulykin should also be available
despite recent knocks.
With five wins out of five so far, Spanish giants Real have already been confirmed as group winners and their coach Jose Mourinho is resting several key players for this fixture ahead of the crunch Primera Division showdown with Barcelona at the weekend.
Star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, midfielders Sami Khedira and Lassana Diarra, defenders Marcelo and Sergio Ramos and goalkeeper Iker Casillas will all be missing from the Real team, but De Boer is not about to underestimate any side Mourinho puts out.
"Even if they don't play in their strongest formation, it's still a very good team," De Boer said.
"You saw that two weeks ago when they played a so-called 'B' team and took a 3-0 lead inside nine minutes against Dinamo Zagreb."
Ricardo Carvalho will also not feature for Real due to injury, but fellow defender Alvaro Arbeloa is back after a spell on the sidelines, while midfielder Xabi Alonso returns from suspension.
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UEFA Champions League
Wed 7th Dec - Group D
Din Zagreb1 - 7Lyon
Ajax0 - 3R Madrid
Wed 7th Dec - Group C
Basel2 - 1Man Utd
Benfica1 - 0Otelul Galati
Wed 7th Dec - Group B
Lille0 - 0Trabzonspor
Inter1 - 2CSKA Mosc
Wed 7th Dec - Group A
Man City2 - 0Bay Munich
Villarreal0 - 2Napoli
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H