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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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
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