Venlo vs Ajax for the Dutch Eredivisie championship match on Saturday at De Koel Stadium.
The table put two clubs that rose from the Second Division into Venlo’s path in the early days. The home factor turned out to be decisive in the results. In their debut match, the club, playing in their domains, made a 3-1 turn against Waalwijk.
They took a goal just 11 minutes into the opening half but reacted in the second half showing efficiency on finishing with a shot of more than 50% at goal chance while rivals scored 33% in that regard.
The role was reversed in the match against Sparta Rotterdam on matchday two. This time Venlo took the lead in the first half.
However, it led to the turnaround in the final stage being defeated 4-1. It produced very little offensively. There were only six attempts on a shot, two in the right direction. That is, it had a 33% rate, which was not enough for Waalwijk.
Ajax went through tight this week in the return match of the fourth qualifying round, earning a spot in the Champions League group stage.
After drawing 2-2 away from home with PAOK, they won 3-2 on their soil with two penalty kicks in their favour that were the subject of much questioning.
The battle to reach the goal has one more step. It will open on the 20th, in Cyprus, against Apoel. The double journey is the result of the low position of the Netherlands in the Uefa ranking, which organizes the tournament.
Ajax, despite being national champions and reaching the Champions League semifinals in the previous edition, has no guaranteed place in the tournament.
At the Eredivisie 2019/2020 debut, they drew 2-2 away with Vitesse in a match that they needed to react twice. In the second game, the first in their domains, found no problems to beat FC Emmen, 5-0.
Ajax is clearly performing below its potential and still need to split between tournaments. Even so, the fragility shown by Venlo makes the prediction for the success of the visitors appears as the best guess for Saturday’s match for the third round of the 2019/2020 Dutch Championship.