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High stakes for Celtic and Ajax

Published: Monday 7 October 2013, 9.45CET
The bottom two teams in Group H, Celtic FC and AFC Ajax, will go head to head in Glasgow both desperate for a first win but equally aware of the cost of another defeat.
High stakes for Celtic and Ajax
There is little margin for error at Celtic Park on matchday three ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

CelticAjax

Goals scored3
 
5
Possession (%)41
 
59
Total attempts60
 
78
on target34
 
50
off target26
 
28
blocked0
 
0
against woodwork2
 
3
Corners34
 
32
Offsides12
 
9
Yellow cards14
 
10
Red Cards2
 
1
Fouls committed93
 
87
Fouls suffered55
 
79
Passes2508
 
3659
completed1701
 
2853

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
 
Published: Monday 7 October 2013, 9.45CET

High stakes for Celtic and Ajax

The bottom two teams in Group H, Celtic FC and AFC Ajax, will go head to head in Glasgow both desperate for a first win but equally aware of the cost of another defeat.

Celtic FC and AFC Ajax will each be looking for their first victory in Group H when they go head to head in Glasgow on matchday three.

• Celtic enter the game still without a point after losing to late goals against both AC Milan and FC Barcelona, while Ajax do have one point but will not need reminding it would have been three but for a 94th-minute Milan equaliser in Amsterdam last time out. Ajax therefore trail second-placed Milan by three points, with Celtic another point further back.

Previous meetings
• Celtic got the better of Ajax when the clubs last met in the 2000/01 third qualifying round. Martin O'Neill's Celtic won the first leg 3-1 in Amsterdam, with Bobby Petta (7) and Didier Agathe (19) scoring early and Chris Sutton (55) adding a third after Shota Arveladze (40) had pulled a goal back.

• Wamberto's 30th-minute goal gave Co Adriaanse's Ajax a narrow second-leg win but it was Celtic who advanced to the group stage for the first time. That Celtic side included Neil Lennon – making his first appearances in Europe for the club – and Johan Mjällby, now manager and assistant manager respectively.

• The lineups for that meeting in Glasgow on 22 August 2001 were:
Celtic: Douglas, Boyd, Valgaeren, Mjällby, Agathe, McNamara (Moravčík 63), Lennon, Lambert, Guppy, Sutton, Larsson.
Ajax: Grim, Vierklau (Knopper 63), Bergdølmo (Mido 76), Chivu, Trabelsi, Maxwell, Wamberto, Van der Vaart, Yakubu, Machlas (Ibrahimović 55), Arveladze.

• Ajax won the clubs' first encounter in the 1970/71 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals en route to lifting the trophy for the first time. Johan Cruyff, Barrie Hulshoff and Piet Keizer scored in a 3-0 first-leg win in Amsterdam, with Jimmy Johnstone's solitary goal in the return insufficient for Celtic.

• The clubs met again in the 1982/83 European Cup first round and this time Celtic prevailed – just. After a 2-2 draw in Glasgow, they had looked poised for elimination on away goals with the sides drawing 1-1 in Amsterdam but George McCluskey's 89th-minute strike made it 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. Celtic first-team coach Danny McGrain played in both matches.

Match background
• Celtic still have a strong home record in UEFA competition, having won seven of their last ten European fixtures in Glasgow. This season they kept clean sheets in three successive home qualifiers and they came within 14 minutes of another shutout on matchday two until Cesc Fàbregas's 76th-minute winner for Barcelona.

• Celtic have started a group stage with two defeats only once before – in 2004/05 when, as now, they found themselves pitted against Barcelona and Milan. They started with defeats at home to Barcelona and away to Milan and then lost their third fixture at FC Shakhtar Donetsk before taking five points from their remaining three games.

• Beaten 4-0 at Barcelona on matchday one, Ajax have not won any of their last five away games in the UEFA Champions League, a winless sequence stretching back to 18 October 2011 and a 2-0 success at GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

• Celtic's home record against Dutch opponents is W3 D1 L1. They last faced Eredivisie opponents three seasons ago when losing to FC Utrecht in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs, winning 2-0 at home – Efraín Juárez and Giorgios Samaras the scorers – but falling 4-0 in the Netherlands.

• Ajax's record in Scotland is W2 D1 L1. Their only other meeting with Scottish opposition came against Rangers FC in the 1996/97 group stage when they won 4-1 in Amsterdam and 1-0 at Ibrox, with Frank de Boer playing for Ajax in both matches.

• Celtic lost the 1970 European Cup final 2-1 against a Feyenoord side including Wim Jansen, a future Ajax player and Celtic manager.

Team ties
• Frank de Boer made 17 appearances for Rangers between January and May 2004 alongside his twin brother Ronald, who was at Ibrox from 2000 to 2004. During that time he faced Lennon in two Old Firm games, both at Celtic Park, and Lennon emerged a 1-0 winner both times – in the Scottish FA Cup quarter-finals on 7 March and the Scottish Premier League on 8 May.

• De Boer scored his 13th and final international goal in the Netherlands' 6-0 rout of Scotland in a UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying play-off in Amsterdam in November 2003.

• Christian Poulsen and Lasse Schöne lost 2-1 in Glasgow with Denmark in an August 2011 friendly against a Scotland side including Scott Brown and James Forrest. In November that year, the Ajax pair helped Denmark beat Mikael Lustig's Sweden 2-0 in another friendly.

• Derk Boerrigter spent two seasons at Ajax – scoring 12 goals in 47 Eredivisie appearances – before joining Celtic this summer.

• Virgil van Dijk suffered 2-0 home and away losses against Ajax with his former club FC Groningen last season – playing against Boerrigter in both matches.

• Van Dijk and Daley Blind have played together for the Netherlands Under-21s, while Teemu Pukki and Niklas Moisander (Finland), and Lustig and Tobias Sana (Sweden) are also international team-mates.

Last updated: 20/10/13 21.36CET

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