Match preview: Poli - Ajax

Well, we're back on 4th place, where we belong. Zagreb's appeal was successful, UEFA deciding to give them their 3 points back, leaving them with a big fine and a harsh final warning. This doesn't change anything, our qualification chances remaining the same: almost nil.

That being the situation, all that is left for us is to play for pleasure and for prestige. We are yet to win a match in the Europa League, and a match against Ajax would be the perfect occasion. Although the Dutch side isn't what it used to be, they are still a great team, and our 0-0 draw in Amsterdam was stretching it, at best. It was an easy trip for them, now topping the group table along with Anderlecht. In the championship they are only 3rd, but for the last 6 matches, except a 1-0 loss in the derby against current leaders Twente, they've thrashed their opponents, scoring 4 or 5 goals per match. These include 4-2 at Alkmaar and 5-1 against Feyenoord.

And since Poli's staff has announced they will play offensively, it looks like a match with lots of goals coming up. This is the right choice, since there is nothing to lose, and the last two matches have shown us how beautiful Poli can look. It sure would be nice to see how the team that can beat Dinamo 2-0 and score 6 goals at Mediaș can do against a valuable adversary such as Ajax. And it is time that the fans finally see some show in this much praised Europa League.

Ajax only needs a draw, so they will most probably play a waiting game and try to score on counter attack. So we'd better beware, as the last time this was the case, we lost 1-3 to Anderlecht. An early goal would be best for us, as that would make life easier. At Amsterdam we resisted because we didn't let them get close enough and all their chances were long shots that even Suárez, the League's player with most shots on goal, couldn't put past Pantilimon. Wednesday evening, however, will be much different as we will have to press forward. It will be interesting to see if the team can do the same possessive play like in the last two matches.

Devoid of mathematical complications, with only prestige at stake, it is looking to be a very interesting match indeed.

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