Ajax midfielder Daley Blind admits nothing less than a win at home to De Graafschap will do tomorrow night as they look to keep their Eredivisie title hopes alive. The Amsterdammers can move to within two points of second-placed FC Twente and three of leaders PSV Eindhoven with a victory, with the leading duo in action later in the weekend.
Ajax, who start life without striker Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan's departure to Liverpool, will head into tomorrow's clash with confidence having won the reverse fixture 5-0 back in August. "We should be taking three points. We are confident, we are at home," Blind told the club's official website.
The 20-year-old has only played four times in all competitions this season, but he has started the last three games, and impressed in the recent league and cup successes over NAC Breda. "I am now having a lot of minutes and enjoying it," he added. "I notice that I just have to get more used to the players around me. My first task is to defend."
ADO face daunting PSV form
PSV will also be expected to claim three points at home to ADO Den Haag on Saturday. Fred Rutten's men have won nine of their 11 home games in the Eredivisie so far this term. Seventh-placed ADO, though, are chasing European qualification and have won their last three games, including a 5-1 hammering of Excelsior last time out.
Twente face a tough assignment away to an FC Utrecht side on Sunday that beat Ajax 3-0 late last month. But Twente have won their last three since returning from the winter break. Fourth-placed FC Groningen, who lie just one point behind Ajax, will be looking to capitalise on any slip-ups by the Amsterdammers, when they host Willem II.
Elsewhere on Saturday, European hopefuls AZ Alkmaar travel to struggling Excelsior, second-bottom VVV Venlo welcome NAC Breda and Heerenveen host NEC Nijmegen. On Sunday, Vitesse Arnhem host another side who have underperformed this term, Feyenoord, while Heracles Almelo entertain Roda JC.