Saints vs Ajax

By SFC Media time Fri 27 Jul Club

Saints' second home fixture of their pre-season schedule sees them welcome Dutch giants Ajax.

The current Eredivisie champions are the fifth side to face Nigel Adkins' men so far this summer, with Southampton having been victorious in all-but-one of their matches since winning promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

In Profile: AFC Ajax

Tomorrow's game comes almost exactly three years after the previous meeting between the two sides, with Ajax visiting St Mary's on 18th July 2009.

Saints, then a League 1 club, hosted the Amsterdam-based outfit just ten days after being taken over by Markus Liebherr and Nicola Cortese.

De Amsterdammers, meanwhile, had just appointed former Spurs boss Martin Jol as their new manager as they sought to win their first Dutch title since 2003-04.

And they certainly got their campaign off to a good start as they swept aside a home side including present-day Saints Kelvin Davis, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin.

The hosts did open the scoring, though, as Joseph Mills converted from close range before a brace from captain Luis Suarez either side of half time put Ajax in the ascendancy. Late strikes from Siem De Jong and Marvin Zeegelaar completed the win.

Southampton have been transformed considerably since that match, and now face their opponents as a Barclays Premier League club.

Ajax, too, have made progress over the past three years: this year's was their second consecutive Eredivisie title win, while they also won the KNVB Cup in 2010.

Now under the management of legendary former defender Frank de Boer, the Dutch outfit have brought a 27-man squad to England for a five-day training camp.

Included in that party are the likes of Holland international Gregory van der Wiel, midfield prodigy Christian Eriksen and striker De Jong, who netted in the previous friendly between these two clubs.

Also included in the Dutchmen's squad is Danish midfielder Lasse Schøne, who was a teammate of Saints defender Jos Hooiveld's at Heerenveen.

The travelling group arrived in sun-drenched Southampton on Thursday, and have been training in nearby Eastleigh ahead of tomorrow's match.

Ajax's time on these shores will be rounded off with a friendly against another top-flight outfit, Norwich City, next Tuesday.

Match information

Tomorrow's game kicks off at St Mary's at 3pm, with turnstiles opening at 1.30pm. Our official match day programme is available for just £1 and will be on sale at the stadium well before kick-off.

Tickets remain on sale via our official online ticket site and from the St Mary's ticket office right up to kick off.

The referee for the match will be Lee Probert of Gloucestershire, and he will be assisted by Mike Mullarkey and Harry Lennard.

Saints Player has already spoken to First Team Manager Nigel Adkins and midfielder Adam Lallana to get their views on tomorrow's encounter.

We will have in-game updates via our official Twitter feed and Facebook page - and keep an eye on our official YouTube channel for exclusive video content.

And stay tuned to Saints Player and for a match report, post-game reaction and video highlights.

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