PSV EINDHOVEN VS AJAX PREVIEW
The Johan Cruyff Shield, which is the official name of the Dutch Super Cup, will be played at Amsterdam ArenA between Eredivisie champions Ajax and KNVB Beker winners PSV Eindhoven.
PSV Eindhoven not only missed out on the league title last term, but also failed to clinch the final Champions League berth, having finished the league campaign just one point behind Feyenoord.
The KNVB Beker triumph somewhat saved the season, but it is more than clear the fans expect much bigger things this season.
After staying without Andreas Isaksson, Zakaria Labyad and Otman Bakkal, the Dutch giants did well to sign Mark van Bommel, Mathias Zanka Jorgensen and Luciano Narsingh, making sure the squad are not weaker than last season.
Orlando Engelaar and Tim Matavz are unlikely to feature through injury, but Ola Toivonen is expected to start after recovering from an ankle problem.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Tyton – Hutchinson, Jorgensen, Marcelo, Willems – Strootman, van Bommel, Toivonen – Narsingh, Lens, Mertens.
Ajax produced quite a coup by winning the Eredivise title last term, given they were more than 10 points behind PSV Eindhoven in February, but the amazing 14-match winning run saw Frank de Boer’s side lift the coveted trophy.
Even if Dmitri Bulykin, Nicolas Lodeiro and Mounir El Hamdaoui all left this summer, the departure of Jan Vertonghen was the biggest blow, especially as the club management are still searching for his replacement.
In came Lasse Schone, Ilan Boccara and Tobias Sana, who have yet to show they have what it takes to play at this level.
As far as the pre-season is concerned, the Amsterdammers did well to beat Southampton and Celtic, while sharing spoils with Norwich, so they certainly look ready for the new season.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Vermeer – Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Blind, Dijks – De Jong, Anita, Janssen – Ozbiliz, Sigthorsson, Boerrigter.