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AZ aim to set a high home standard

AZ Alkmaar are new to the UEFA Champions League this season and lost at Olympiacos FC last time out but few of the established order can call on their imposing home record of only one defeat in 33 games.

AZ aim to set a high home standard
AZ aim to set a high home standard ©

AZ Alkmaar are among the newcomers in this season's UEFA Champions League but few of the established élite can match a formidable home record in UEFA club competition that reads: played 33, lost one. R. Standard de Liège will be the first team to challenge that in Group H.

• Each must bounce back from Matchday 1 reverses, AZ going down 1-0 at Olympiacos FC while Standard suffered a 3-2 home loss against Arsenal FC despite taking a 2-0 lead within five minutes thanks to goals from Eliaquim Mangala and Milan Jovanović.

Previous meetings
• The sides, both in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time, have both had only two previous fixtures against sides from their opponents' country and their results have been the same – a win at home and an away defeat.

• AZ progressed in their 1980/81 UEFA Cup quarter-final against KSC Lokeren OV 2-1 on aggregate while Standard lost to Feyenoord on away goals in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup third round after a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Match background
• AZ have lost just once in 33 European home games since making their UEFA club competition debut in September 1977 – an 11-1 win against Red Boys Differdange at the Alkmaarderhout.

• The Dutch champions kept that remarkable run going at their new DSB-Stadium until 20 December 2007 – their last European tie before this season – when Everton won 3-2 in the UEFA Cup group stage.

• Standard lost away in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in both 2008/09 and 2006/07, going down 1-0 against Liverpool FC after extra time in August 2008 and 2-1 against FC Steaua Bucureşti two seasons earlier. With the home leg ending in a draw in both cases, it meant the Belgian side missed out on a place in the group stage.

• Standard then took their place in last season's UEFA Cup and suffered 3-0 defeats at VfB Stuttgart in the group stage and at SC Braga in the round of 32, the latter effectively ending their competition. Their other away game in the group brought a 1-0 win against FK Partizan while there was a 2-2 draw at Everton FC in the first round.

Team ties
• Cor van der Hart and Georg Kessler have coached both clubs.

• Coaches Ronald Koeman and Laszlo Bölöni were opposing captains in a friendly between the Netherlands and Romania on 1 June 1988 in Amsterdam. The hosts won 2-0 in a game that proved Bölöni's 108th and final cap. A few weeks later Koeman lifted the UEFA European Championship trophy with the Oranje.

• AZ's Sebastien Pocognoli, Maarten Martens, Gill Swerts and Moussa Dembélé and Standard's Igor De Camargo, Axel Witsel and Steven Defour are all team-mates in the Belgian national team.

• AZ defender Ragnar Klavan faced Defour and Witsel when Estonia played Belgium in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at Standard's Stade Maurice Dufrasne home on 6 September 2008. Belgium won 3-2.