Ajax and PSV in action in Europa League: history bodes well for Amsterdammers, Eindhoven residents ‘the cigar’ | Europa League

With pollTonight the first matches in the intermediate round of the Europa League are scheduled with two Dutch teams. Ajax will compete against Union Berlin, PSV will visit Seville. If the past would offer guarantees for the present, both clubs know one thing: one is already with one foot in the next round and the other can focus on the premier league and the cup tournament.

In recent seasons, Ajax has faced German superpowers Bayern Munich (2018) and Borussia Dortmund (2022) in the Champions League. The team from Amsterdam did not lose a single match in the four encounters. Only once before did Ajax meet a German team in the Europa League. In the quarterfinals in the 2016/17 season, the team of then coach Peter Bosz was too strong for Schalke 04 (2-0 win in Amsterdam, 3-2 defeat after extra time in Gelsenkirchen), after which it reached the final.

Ajax celebrates the win over Schalke 04 in 2016/17. ©EPA

The current number three in the Netherlands met a German club seventeen times in the knockout phase of a European tournament. No less than fifteen meetings were won by Ajax. Only in 1980/81 (against Bayern) and in 2006/07 (against Werder Bremen) did the team from Amsterdam lose out. To make it even rosier for the Dutch record champion: Ajax won all sixteen home games against German clubs in a European knockout match. So tonight it can make it seventeen.

Spanish scare

For PSV, the history is completely different. In total, the team from Eindhoven only managed to win five of 34 European matches against a Spanish club. The current series is even more harrowing for the single UEFA Cup winner (precursor Europa League). PSV won only one of its last fourteen games against a club from the land of the sun.

The last time the club from the city of lights directly eliminated a Spanish opponent in a knockout match brings back golden memories for the fans. In 1987/1988, PSV eliminated Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the European Cup I (predecessor of the Champions League) and then took home the ‘cup with the big ears’. At the same time, it has also been a very long time and the people of Eindhoven are yearning for a Spanish elimination.

PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooij was in contact with Real Madrid, the last Spanish club to be eliminated by PSV.

PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooij was in contact with Real Madrid, the last Spanish club to be eliminated by PSV. ©AFP

However, there is perspective for the people of Eindhoven. Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli knows Dutch defeats. Last season he was eliminated with Olympique Marseille in the semi-finals of the Conference League by Feyenoord (0-0 in Marseille and 3-2 in Rotterdam). In 2014, as national coach of Chile, he lost to the Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil (2-1).

Ajax – Union Berlin starts tonight at 6.45 pm in the Johan Cruijff Arena. This game is led by the Turk Halil Umut Meler. PSV and Sevilla kick off in Spain at 9 p.m. This match is refereed by the Romanian Radu Petrescu. The returns will take place next week. Then Sevilla returns to the Philips Stadium where it won the UEFA Cup final in 2006 by sweeping Middlesbrough 4-0 off the mat.


Will Ajax and PSV reach the next round in the Europa League?

  • Yes, both clubs will continue (33%)

  • No, both clubs will be eliminated (27%)

  • No, only PSV will continue (12%)

  • No, only Ajax will continue (28%)

Program Europa League

Statistics Europa League