Real Madrid will take on Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena in the UEFA Champions League soon. While the Galacticos are the favourites to win the clash due to their rise in form, playing Ajax at their home is always harder than it looks.
The Dutch side have some fantastic players in their team and they could change the complexion of the game at any given moment. It will also be a rather trial clash for Frenkie De Jong, who is set to play Real Madrid in Clasicos when he joins Barcelona.
With all of this in mind, here are the five key battles in tonight Champions League clash.
#5 Hakim Ziyech vs Reguilon
Hakim Ziyech is a very gifted player, someone who has the ability to see a pass before anyone else. He is unlike anyone Sergio Reguilon has faced this season because Ziyech is a creative player on the wings.
The young Spaniard has been exceptional in his debut season with the Galacticos, displacing the great Marcelo on a number of occasions. But this match against Ziyech will be sort of a litmus test for the youngster.
#4 Huntelaar vs Ramos
The former team-mates are going to face each other as opponents tonight as Sergio Ramos will be tasked to stop former Real Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Dutchman might be past his peak years but he is still a very good forward.
Huntelaar has 10 goals from 19 games in the Dutch league so far this season but he shall be up against an in-form Sergio Ramos – and it is very difficult to go past the Madrid captain when he is having a good game.
#3 Karim Benzema vs Daley Blind
The revival of Real Madrid has a lot of reasons and among the biggest one is Karim Benzema. His form up top has changed the complexion of the season for the Galacticos.
Daley Blind will have a difficult task in hand when he goes up against the Frenchman, who constantly keeps moving from midfield to attack and, as a result, is very difficult to mark.
#2 Vinicius vs De Ligt
Another player whose inclusion to the first team has been directly proportional to the success of the Galacticos is Vinicius Jr. While he is not a direct opponent to De Ligt, who is a central defender, the Brazilian often cuts inside to cause problems for the right-center-back.
And the Golden Boy award winner plays in that position. It shall be a battle of two teenagers who might be the face of the next generation of football.
#1 Luka Modric vs Frenkie De Jong
And finally, this is where the game shall be decided. Given that Luka Modric plays in a more advanced role under Santiago Solari, Frenkie De Jong is likely to be the man marking Modric.
The future Barcelona player will have an added incentive to play well here and become a fan-favourite with the Catalans even before joining them. However, Modric’s form is back and it is going to be very hard to contain him.