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Brighton vs Ajax Predicted Lineups and News
Ajax will visit the Amex Stadium in Brighton as they gear up to face Brighton in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Brighton will look to win their first ever European game as they kickstart their Europa League campaign, knowing that should they lose at home, they will create a mountain in which to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. Should they win, however, Brighton will put themselves in an amazing position to qualify for the group stage.
Ajax have been incredibly disappointing this season, from their league form to their failure to qualify for the Champions League. Ajax find themselves in the relegation zone of the Eredivisie, having one of their worst starts in years, as they have only won one match in their domestic league. That may help Brighton’s cause, but Ajax’s ability to counter against teams less experienced in continental action could be troublesome all the same.
Team news: Brighton
Brighton have been on a worrying run of form and will hope that this game can produce a win and allow their domestic season to restart. However, Brighton suffered a double injury blow in the defeat at Manchester City, as Danny Welbeck was forced off in the opening 16 minutes with a muscle problem, while Solly March was stretched off in tears after jarring his knee in the closing stages.
Jakub Moder has returned to training following an 18-month layoff with a troublesome knee injury, but he will not be considered for the game at home to Ajax, while Julio Enciso (knee), Pervis Estupinan (muscle), and Tariq Lamptey (knock) are all ruled out of the match.
Brighton are struggling for options at left-back, and in the absence of March, Estupinan, and Lamptey, either Joel Veltman, James Milner, or left-footed centre-back Igor Julio could be put in the position of operating on the left side of a back four.
Brighton’s Predicted Lineup:
Verbruggen; Veltman, Dunk, Webster, Milner; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Fati, Mitoma; Ferguson
Team news: Ajax
Ajax have not played well this season, and their fans saved their blushes from further defeat as their actions managed to get an Eredivisie fixture abandoned. The Dutch giants have failed to win eight consecutive competitive games for the first time since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands back in 1954, with a 4-3 away defeat at Utrecht proving to be the final nail in the coffin for head coach Maurice Steijn. Assistant coach Hedwiges Maduro has been placed in interim charge.
Devyne Rensch missed the defeat at Utrecht due to injury, while Steven Berghuis was only fit to make the bench, and both players were assessed ahead of kickoff; Geronimo Rulli (shoulder), Sivert Mannsverk (leg), and Ahmetcan Kaplan (knee) are all doubtful with injuries.
However, Silvano Vos is available for selection after serving a domestic suspension last weekend, and the 18-year-old will battle with Kristian Hlynsson, who scored twice in the loss to Utrecht, Kenneth Taylor, and Benjamin Tahirovic to return to the midfield of the Dutch giants.
Steven Bergwijn, Brian Brobbey, and Carlos Forbs could all keep their places up front, but former Brighton striker Chuba Akpom, who spent a six-month period on loan with the Seagulls in 2017, will be hoping to force his way into the first XI.
Ajax’s Predicted Lineup:
Gorter; Gaaei, Sutalo, Hato, and Sosa; Taylor, Tahirovic, and Hlynsson; Forbs, Brobbey, and Bergwijn
Will Evan Ferguson bring Brighton’s first European victory?
Evan Ferguson celebrates his 19th birthday on the night of the game against Ajax, and the Irish striker will be desperate to celebrate it by leading the club to history as they look to win their first European match. Ferguson will look to score his sixth goal of the season, his first in Europe, as De Zerbi looks to continue the development of the impressive young forward.
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