Ajax vs. Real Madrid: Complete Preview, Live Stream, Start Time and Schedule

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterDecember 3, 2011

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 27:  Cristiano Ronaldo (R) of Real Madrid beats Eyong Enoh of AFC Ajax during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Real Madrid and AFC Ajax at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 27, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid and Ajax will meet on Wednesday in a match that means nothing to the former and everything to the latter in the group stage of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League.

Los Blancos have already sewn up a spot in the knockout round by way of five wins in five matches and a UCL-best goal differential of plus-14.

The Amsterdammers, on the other hand, need a win or a draw to secure the second berth out of Group D into the next stage of European competition.


Where: Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When: Wednesday, December 7th at 2:45 p.m. EST

Watch: MSG Plus, Fox Sports Net, ESPN HD Brasil, Sport TV2, Sky Sport 1 Germany, Foot+, SuperSport 5, SuperSport 5 Nigeria, SuperSport 5 Africa

Live Stream: FoxSoccer.tv


Player to Watch for Ajax: Miralem Sulejmani

Ajax have struggled to put the ball through the net in European play, to say the least. They've been clean-sheeted three times in five matches, with their only goals coming against a Dinamo Zagreb squad that's surrendered 15 in its five fixtures.

If the Amsterdammers are to have any shot at keeping pace with Los Galacticos, they'll need Miralem Sulejmani, their star Serbian striker, to get the ball past Iker Casillas and get his side on the board.


Player to Watch for Real Madrid: Karim Benzema

In most cases, Cristiano Ronaldo would be the obvious choice here for Madrid.

But while the Portuguese pretty boy has been lighting up La Liga, Karim Benzema has busied himself as the most productive piece of Los Blancos' high-powered attack during their Champions League fixtures.

The French striker has put through four goals and assisted on three more in five matches and figures to get on the score sheet at least once more while Jose Mourinho fiddles with his starting XI.


Key Matchup: Los Blancos vs. Kramer Los Blancos

This game should be an absolute walkover for Madrid, who shut out Ajax last time they met, 3-0. The only way Los Blancos lose this match is if either they make every mistake imaginable on the pitch or "The Special One" runs his youth team out there against the best the Eredivisie has to offer.


What They're Saying:

Ajax have been torn apart by a rift in the boardroom, with Johan Cruyff rising up with the support of 10 coaches affiliated with the club.

According to ESPN Soccernet, the legendary Dutch talisman is taking four members of Ajax's supervisory board to court following the recent appointment of three directors—Louis van Gaal, Martin Sturkenboom and Danny Blind. Said Cruyff of the conundrum:

"It was a clear signal, the football players have in recent days been insulted. Therefore, we collectively decided to take legal action against the four commissioners of Ajax. So, for clarity, not against the club.''


Prediction: Real Madrid 3, Ajax 0

Madrid are just too superior at every position on the pitch not to win this one going away. Ajax, on the other hand, can't seem to score unless they're competing against Croatians. The margin of victory would be wider here, but Los Blancos have no reason to pour it on and risk injury in the process.

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