Johan Cruijff Shield Preview: Ajax v AZ
By Football News
Ajax will hope to avoid a fourth-straight defeat in the Johan Cruijff Shield as they prepare to take on AZ in the 2013 final on Saturday.
The competition pits the reigning Eredivisie champions against the holders of the KNVB Beker in a one-off match, though Ajax have found themselves on the wrong end of two losses to FC Twente and one defeat to PSV in the last three years.
However, Frank de Boer's team's chances of glory should be boosted this time around, with the fixture set to take place at their Amsterdam ArenA home.
Ajax remain the second-most successful team in the history of the trophy, having won it on seven occasions to PSV’s nine.
AZ, meanwhile, are looking to win the tournament for only the second time, with their last success coming against Heerenveen in 2009.
Toby Alderweireld could be heading into the game hoping to score in his third-consecutive Johan Cruijff Shield match, though the Ajax centre-back is still strongly linked with a move to the Premier League.
AZ defeated Ajax in the semi-finals of the KNVB Beker on their way to winning the tournament last season, with Jozy Altidore - who has since moved to Sunderland - scoring twice in a 3-0 victory.
But the Amsterdam side went on to elicit revenge later in the season as they earned a 3-2 victory at AZ's AFAS Stadion home.