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Rivals aim to seize chance in Hamburg

Published: Saturday 8 November 2008, 6.00CET
Hamburger SV may feel they have an old score to settle as they meet AFC Ajax for the first time in more than 20 years, with both sides looking to take a significant step towards the UEFA Cup Round of 32.
Rivals aim to seize chance in Hamburg
Hamburg have won their only Group F game so far ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

HamburgAjax

Goals scored24
 
16
Attempts on target73
 
45
Attempts off target62
 
38
Corners83
 
37
Offsides19
 
11
Fouls committed159
 
92
Yellow cards22
 
17
Red cards0
2

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Published: Saturday 8 November 2008, 6.00CET

Rivals aim to seize chance in Hamburg

Hamburger SV may feel they have an old score to settle as they meet AFC Ajax for the first time in more than 20 years, with both sides looking to take a significant step towards the UEFA Cup Round of 32.

Hamburger SV may feel they have an old score to settle as they meet AFC Ajax for the first time in over 20 years, with both sides looking to make a big step towards the UEFA Cup Round of 32.

• With three points each after the first two rounds of Group F fixtures, three more would most likely be enough for both sides to qualify. Only once in the four-year history of the UEFA Cup group stage has a total of six points not been enough to qualify, with Rangers FC missing out in 2004/05.

• Ajax have played two games, losing at Aston Villa FC but making amends with a 1-0 win against MŠK Žilina on Matchday 2. Hamburg won their opening game 2-1 at Žilina and were not in action on 6 November.

• The two clubs have met before, with Ajax winning 1-0 in Hamburg and then 2-0 in Amsterdam in a 1987/88 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second-round tie. Hennie Meijer scored in both legs, Arnold Mühren claiming the opener in the return fixture.

• The lineups for the previous fixture on 21 October 1987 in Hamburg were:
Hamburg: Mladen Pralija, Manfred Kaltz, Thomas Hinz, Ditmar Jakobs, Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Thomas von Heesen, Thomas Kroth, Uwe Bein (Lothar Dittmer 55), Bruno Labbadia, Mirosław Okoński, Harald Spörl.
Ajax: Stanley Menzo, Danny Blind, Ronald Spelbos, Aron Winter, Frank Verlaat, John Bosman (Arnold Scholten 73), Dennis Bergkamp, Jon Van't Schip, Hennie Meijer, Arnold Mühren, Rob Witschge (Richard Witschge 85).

• Hamburg have played eight games against Dutch sides in total, winning three, drawing one and losing four. At home they have earned two wins and suffered two defeats against Eredivisie opponents.

• Ajax have played 29 games against German sides, including the final of the 1986/87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in which they beat VfB Leipzig 1-0 in Athens, current coach Marco van Basten heading the only goal.

• In total the Dutch club have won 19 games against Bundesliga opposition, drawing five and losing five. In 14 previous away games against teams from Germany they have recorded five wins, four draws and five defeats.

• Hamburg have a Dutch coach in Martin Jol, and three Dutch players – defender Joris Mathijsen, midfielder Nigel de Jong and forward Romeo Castelen.

• De Jong played at Ajax from 2002 until he joined Hamburg in 2006, helping the club win the 2003/04 Dutch title.

• Castelen previously played alongside Ajax's Evander Sno and Leonardo at Feyenoord.

• Jol is coaching in his first game against Dutch opponents.

• Ajax coach Van Basten enjoyed several meetings with sides from Germany as a player. While at AC Milan, he scored the only goal in the two-legged 1988/89 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final against Werder Bremen. He also struck in the European Cup semi-final home leg against FC Bayern München the following season, his side eventually progressing on away goals.

• As a Dutch international, he played a total of six games against the former East and West Germany as well as a unified Germany, earning three wins, two draws and one defeat. He scored three times in those meetings.

• The most famous of those goals came in the 88th minute of the 1988 UEFA European Championship semi-finals as eventual champions the Netherlands beat hosts West Germany 2-1 at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg – which is now the Arena Hamburg.

• Hamburg are unbeaten in their last nine home games in UEFA club competition since a 3-1 UEFA Champions League defeat against FC Porto in 2006/07.

• This is Hamburg's third campaign in the UEFA Cup group stage. They have never lost a home game at this stage of the competition, winning three matches and drawing one.

• Should a draw between SK Slavia Praha and Žilina in the section's other fixture coincide with a win for Hamburg or a draw against Ajax, Villa would qualify for the last 32 without kicking a ball.

• Žilina face Slavia in Matchday 3's other Group F tie. Villa are the only side in the section not in action.

Last updated: 13/11/08 17.12CET

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