Sunday 20th April
PEC ZWOLLE vs. AJAX (17:00 BST)
Ron Jans and Frank de Boer lead their teams out at De Kuip later this afternoon competing for the first trophy of the Dutch football season. Winning the KNVB Beker gives Ajax a domestic double after virtually wrapping up the Eredivisie championship last weekend. For Zwolle, this could prove to be the day that they lift their first ever cup.
This could be third time lucky for the underdogs, PEC Zwolle, as the Blauwvingers have been runners-up twice in this competition in 1928 and 1977. Ron Jans heads to Rotterdam without Aussie defender Trent Sainsbury due to a knee injury, and goalkeeper Kevin Begois misses out with an ankle problem. Denis Mahmudov is also an absentee with a hamstring strain while Leroy Labelle will face a late fitness test.
Ajax are without striking duo Viktor Fischer and Siem de Jong who have been ruled out for the rest of the season. Ricardo Van Rhijn and Daley Blind were suspended for last weekend’s 3-2 win over ADO Den Haag, but will naturally return to the starting line-up today. Their return will come to the expense of young duo Jairo Riedewald and Kenny Tete. First choice central defender Joël Veltman is suspended and his spot will be filled by Mike van der Hoorn.
This game promises goals as Ajax should assert their dominance, however, in this one-off game Zwolle will be fired up and will strive to battle against the occasion as well as their superior opponents.
Obviously, Ajax hold a superior record in meetings against today’s opponents. The Amsterdammers are unbeaten in the last eight prior encounters winning seven and drawn one. That draw came in February in their most recent meeting and on that occasion, Zwolle striker Guyon Fernandez netted a late first-half goal which cancelled out Davy Klaassen’s opener to ensure the home side took a share of the spoils.
Nevertheless, despite the draw, Ajax will be the definite favourites for today’s final and should claim their 19th KNVB Beker crown.
For our best bet, Bet Victor offers 19/10 for Ajax to win with both teams scoring. This game will be open and produce many chances and with Veltman missing through injury, Zwolle will have plenty of opportunities to grabs goals.
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