Mar 7, 2021 at 11.15am UK
Gravenberch (5'), Haller (54'), Tadic (77' pen.)
Kudus (48'), Klaassen (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Ajax vs. Groningen - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Ajax vs. Groningen - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:437855: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between Ajax and Groningen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ajax head into their fixture with Groningen on Sunday looking to strengthen their grip of top spot in the Eredivisie standings.

Meanwhile, the visitors have put together a four-match unbeaten streak in the Dutch top flight, moving the club to within three points of fourth position.

Match preview

Heading into the closing stages of last week's contest with rivals PSV Eindhoven, it appeared that Ajax were on the brink of losing their 11-match winning streak in all competitions and subsequently allowing PSV to get back into the title race.

However, having seen the hosts denied a second goal through VAR, the leaders netted a last-minute penalty through Dusan Tadic, delivering a hammer blow to their opponents.

While the gap remains just six points, there is a feeling that PSV have missed their chance to stay in the race for the top-flight crown, particularly having played a game more than Ajax.

Erik ten Hag's team are fully focused on winning the treble, a target made easier by their triumph over Heerenveen in the KNVB Beker semi-finals in midweek.

Ajax have now avoided defeat on the domestic scene since December 5 and it is difficult to see any of their upcoming opposition stopping them in their tracks.

From Groningen's perspective, they can take confidence from now possessing the second best defensive record in the division courtesy of their recent performances.

Just one goal has been shipped in four fixtures, leaving Danny Buijs's team with a record of just 24 strikes being conceded from as many matches this season.

The Trots van het Noorden also edged out Ajax in the reverse fixture back in October, a result which has contributed to Groningen holding one of the best returns at home.

However, as well as scoring just three goals in their most recent five fixtures, Groningen have also failed to win any of their last three away games.

Ajax Eredivisie form:
Ajax form (all competitions):

Groningen Eredivisie form:

Team News

Ajax are again expected to be without defenders Noussair Mazraoui and Nicolas Tagliafico through injury.

Even with a Europa league last-16 tie against Young Boys on the horizon, Ten Hag is unlikely to name a weakened team for this game.

Buijs must decide whether to hand an opportunity to teenage striker Paulos Abraham, who scored his first senior goal off the substitutes' bench against Fortuna Sittard.

Jorgen Strand Larsen will expect to keep his place in the side providing that he has shaken off the knock which forced his withdrawal at half time.

Ajax possible starting lineup:
Stekelenburg; Rensch, Timber, Martinez, Blind; Alvarez, Gravenberch; Antony, Klaassen, Tadic, Haller

Groningen possible starting lineup:
Padt; Dankerlui, Te Wierik, Itakura, Hintum; Kaam, Schreck; Cruz, Suslov, Hankouri; Larsen

We say: Ajax 3-0 Groningen

After their near-miss against PSV, complacency is unlikely to be a factor at Ajax for the remainder of the season. With that in mind, we are backing the home side to cruise to victory, their cause helped by a couple of early strikes.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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2PSV EindhovenPSV31198467323565
3AZ AlkmaarAZ31197569412864
6FC UtrechtUtrecht311311751401150
8Sparta RotterdamSparta32127134747043
10Fortuna SittardSittard31124154652-640
12FC Twente31910124345-237
13PEC Zwolle31811124148-735
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3168172848-2026
15Willem II3167183464-3025
18ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag31310182569-4419
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2RB Leipzig31197555253064
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt311511562471556
5Borussia DortmundDortmund311741066422455
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen31148951351650
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8Union BerlinUnion Berlin31111374738946
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14Hertha Berlin3079143849-1130
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RSchalke 04Schalke3027211876-5813
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