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Anderlecht out to protect proud record against Ajax

Published: Friday 18 September 2009, 1.01CET
Sitting at the Group A summit after Matchday 1, RSC Anderlecht will welcome AFC Ajax looking to continue their perfect home record against visitors from the neighbouring Netherlands.

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Published: Friday 18 September 2009, 1.01CET

Anderlecht out to protect proud record against Ajax

Sitting at the Group A summit after Matchday 1, RSC Anderlecht will welcome AFC Ajax looking to continue their perfect home record against visitors from the neighbouring Netherlands.

Giants from neighbouring nations meet for the first time in Group A, with RSC Anderlecht topping the section when they meet an AFC Ajax side held to a goalless draw by FC Timişoara on Matchday 1.

Previous meetings
• This is Anderlecht and Ajax's first competitive meeting. Anderlecht have won all four of their previous home games against Dutch sides, while Ajax – who lost 1-0 to Belgium's KV Mechelen in the 1988 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in Strasbourg – have played five away games in Belgium, where their record reads W2 D1 L2.

Match background
• Anderlecht battled through to the round of 16 in their only UEFA Cup group stage appearance in the 2007/08 season. Ajax played in two UEFA Cup group stage campaigns, reaching the round of 32 in 2006/07 and making it to the last 16 in the competition's final edition.

• A 5-0 triumph against Sivasspor in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round was the only occasion where Anderlecht have avoided defeat in their last four European home games.

• Anderlecht have won only three of their last 17 UEFA group stage home matches, drawing five and losing nine.

Team facts
• Ajax coach Martin Jol has faced Belgian opposition before, his Tottenham Hotspur FC side beating Club Brugge KV 3-1 in London in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Jol was lined up to take on Ariël Jacobs' Anderlecht at the same stage of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, but was dismissed as Spurs coach earlier in the campaign. The London club went on to draw 1-1 under Juande Ramos.

• Anderlecht boast Dutch talent in the form of defender Arnold Kruiswijk, who scored the fastest own goal in Eredivisie history while at FC Groningen, misplacing a back-pass past his keeper in a September 2006 game against Heracles Almelo after just nine seconds.

• Kruiswijk could come up against three former Groningen team-mates: Ajax's Swedish midfielder Rasmus Lindgren, Uruguayan defender Bruno Silva and forward Luis Suárez.

• Ajax's squad features young Belgian defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

• Anderlecht vice-captain Jelle van Damme played for Ajax from 2002-04. Like Vertonghen and Alderweireld, the defender came through the ranks at KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen, a Belgian club with strong Ajax links.

• Anderlecht's Amsterdam-born Moroccan international Mbark Boussoufa played in the Ajax youth department from 1996 until 2001, before joining Chelsea FC.

• Anderlecht goalkeeper Davy Schollen played in the Netherlands for NAC Breda from 2004-06.

• As their 310th UEFA game approaches, Anderlecht are three goals short of scoring their 500th goal in UEFA club competition and three goals off conceding their 400th.

• Anderlecht visit Timişoara on Matchday 3, while Ajax will host NK Dinamo Zagreb on the same night, 22 October.

Last updated: 27/11/12 8.54CET

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