Elia available against Ajax

Coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst could name forward Eljero Elia in his starting line-up for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at Ajax. The Dutch international missed the recent matches against AZ and sc Heerenveen due to injury, but withstood the rigours of two full training sessions with the squad on Thursday and Friday.

‘He trained without holding back and it’s looking good,’ said Van Bronckhorst at Friday afternoon’s press conference at De Kuip. The coach did say that Elia would likely not be able to play a full 90 minutes in Amsterdam. 

Two players that Van Bronckhorst will have to do without on Sunday are Terence Kongolo and Bilal Basaçikoglu. Both followed individual injury rehab programmes this week, but neither have recovered sufficiently to face Ajax.

Tonny Vilhena will also miss the Klassieker. The midfielder was banned for three matches, the last of which suspended, by the KNVB’s Appeals Committee yesterday.

‘It’s a pity that Tonny cannot be there,’ said Van Bronckhorst. ‘Things have been different from usual for Tonny recently. He’s had to deal with a lot; that has an effect on you. He would obviously like to play, but the next two matches he cannot.’

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