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Dynamo aiming for five in a row

FC Dynamo Kyiv and AFC Ajax meet for the first time in the first leg of their play-off at the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium with the hosts seeking a fifth successive group-stage campaign.

Dynamo's Andriy Shevchenko (right) has a fine record against Ajax
Dynamo's Andriy Shevchenko (right) has a fine record against Ajax ©Oleksandr Zadiraka

FC Dynamo Kyiv have a fifth consecutive group-stage campaign in their sights as they welcome UEFA Champions League play-off rivals AFC Ajax to the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium.

• By contrast Ajax have not competed in the group stage for five years and have never before faced Ukrainian opposition.

Match background
• Dynamo, last season's Ukrainian Premier League runners-up, reached the play-offs with a 6-1 aggregate success against Belgium's KAA Gent in the third qualifying round.

• Second in the Dutch Eredivisie in 2009/10, Ajax had a less straightforward passage against PAOK FC. Having being held 1-1 at home, they needed a 3-3 draw in Greece to progress on away goals.

• That close shave recalled memories of Ajax's past slip-ups in recent bids to reach the UEFA Champions League proper. Since their last group-stage appearance, in 2005/06, they have twice fallen at the last, losing third qualifying round ties against FC København in 2006/07 and SK Slavia Praha in 2007/08.

• Ajax had better luck last season in their UEFA Europa League play-off against ŠK Slovan Bratislava, winning 7-1 on aggregate and eventually progressing to the last 32 where they lost to Juventus.

• Dynamo finished bottom of their group in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League after winning just one game – at home to Russia's FC Rubin Kazan.

• Dynamo's home record against Dutch opposition is W3 D1 L1. Their most recent visitors from the Netherlands were Feyenoord, beaten 2-0 in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

• Dynamo's first home encounter against a Dutch team remains arguably their most significant – a 3-0 victory against PSV Eindhoven in the semi-final of their triumphant 1974/75 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign.

• The Ukrainian side beat another Dutch outfit, FC Utrecht, en route to regaining the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1985/86. After a 2-1 first-leg loss in the Netherlands, they hit back with a 4-1 home win.

Team ties
• Dynamo's Russian coach Valeri Gazzaev had mixed fortunes against Dutch opposition with his previous club PFC CSKA Moskva. In the UEFA Champions League he oversaw home and away losses to PSV in 2007/08. In the UEFA Cup, though, his CSKA side drew 0-0 at SC Heerenveen in 2005/06 and won 3-1 at Feyenoord in 2008/09, both in the group stage.

• Andriy Shevchenko scored twice for AC Milan in victories against Ajax. He found the net in a 3-2 win at San Siro in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and the following season struck the only goal as Milan won a group-stage game in Amsterdam.

• Dynamo new boy Goran Popov spent the last two seasons in the Netherlands with SC Heerenveen, scoring one of his two Eredivisie goals at Ajax last November – but his team still lost 5-1.

• Artem Milevskiy scored a Panenka-style penalty when Ukraine beat the Netherlands 2-1 in their opening game of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Portugal. Together with Taras Mikhalik, however, he finished on the losing side in the final as a Dutch side including Demy de Zeeuw, Urby Emanuelson and Kenneth Vermeer gained revenge with a 3-0 victory.

• André Ooijer played twice against Dynamo for PSV in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League group stage. After appearing as a substitute in a 2-1 home win in September 2000, he scored the only goal of the return fixture in Ukraine the following month.

• Shevchenko scored the opening goal for Milan against Ooijer's PSV in the 2005 UEFA Champions League semi-final that the Dutch club lost on away goals. Ooijer also made a losing debut for Blackburn Rovers FC against Shevchenko's Chelsea FC in August 2006.