Our football match prediction:
Schalke face an uphill task in Thursday’s football match against Ajax. Die Knappen need to record a big win over the Amsterdammers at their Veltins-Arena if they are to make it to the Europa League semis and it remains to be seen if they are capable of overcoming the deficit. Schalke suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to rock-bottom Darmstadt at the weekend, but you should bear in mind that the Bundesliga side are undefeated in last five home games in the Europa League. Ajax, on the other hand, are still in the race for the Eredivisie trophy and they are with one foot in the semi-finals of the Europa League. The Dutch team aim to defend their two-goal lead in Thursday’s clash against Schalke, but considering that die Knappen are a real force to be reckoned with at home, we predict that the Germans will emerge triumphant in the return leg.
Highligted Player (Benedikt Howedes):
Benedikt Howedes is a German international who plays for Bundesliga side Schalke 04. The 187-cm-tall defender is a product of Schalke’s youth school and he played for the reserve team between 2007 and 2009. He made his debut for the first team in the 2007/2008 Bundesliga campaign, but he played no more than 6 matches for die Knappen during the season. Howedes plays for the German national team as well and he made his Germany debut against Uruguay on 29 May, 2011. The Schalke defender represented Joachim Low’s team at the 2016 European Championship finals. Howedes is a centre back, but he is capable of playing as a right back as well. However, at the start of his senior career he played as a left back. He is well known for his brilliant first-time passing and he often scores headers. During his youth career the German defender played for the likes of TuS Haltern and SG Herten-Langenbochum. Howedes was struggling with injury in the 2015/2016 Bundesliga campaign and as a result, he played no more than 15 matches for Schalke in the league.
Highlighted Team (Ajax):
Ajax are a Dutch football club that was founded on 18 March, 1900. Ajax are well known for their youth academy, which regarded as one of the best youth football schools in the world. The likes of Johan Cruijff, Edwin van der Sar, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, Rafael van der Vaart and Marco van Basten are all products of Ajax’s football academy. The Amsterdammers share a big rivalry with Feyenoord and there have always been fireworks when the two teams face each other in De Klassieker. During the seventies Feyenoord and Ajax were the only two teams who were capable of winning the domestic trophies, while PSV have been playing an important role in Dutch football in the 21st century. PSV and Ajax are regarded as big rivals as well and the two teams square off against each other in De Topper. Ajax play their home games at Amsterdam ArenA, the stadium that was opened on 14 August, 1996. The Amsterdammers won their fourth European Cup (Champions League) trophy in 1995, beating Milan in the title game in Vienna.