After three consecutive defeats in Group G, Jean Fernandez's AJ Auxerre know it is time to deliver three points when AFC Ajax visit Stade Abbé-Deschamps on Matchday 4.
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AJ Auxerre know time is not on their side when Group G rivals AFC Ajax visit Stade Abbé-Deschamps on Matchday 4.
• The Ligue 1 club have lost their opening three group games and would face almost certain elimination from the UEFA Champions League if they suffered a fourth loss against an Ajax side who, after prevailing 2-1 when the teams met in Amsterdam last time out, know a second victory will put them in firm contention for a place in the last 16.
• Ronald Koeman stepped down as Ajax coach after Auxerre came out on top when the clubs last met in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32. Ajax won the first leg 1-0 through a Maxwell goal but went down 3-1 at Stade Abbé-Deschamps. Although Ryan Babel cancelled out Bonaventure Kalou's opening strike, Auxerre prevailed through second-half efforts from Benoît Cheyrou and Lionel Mathis.
• Teemu Tainio, now an Ajax player, was in that Auxerre team along with Jean-Pascal Mignot and Stéphane Grichting. Maarten Stekelenburg, Urby Emanuelson and Rasmus Lindgren featured for Ajax.
• Auxerre won the clubs' other two-legged tie in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals. Ajax, the then holders, failed to undo the damage of a 4-2 first-leg loss when they won the return 1-0 in Amsterdam. Jol's assistant coach Danny Blind, whose son Daley is a current squad member, played for Ajax.
• The teams' only previous UEFA Champions League encounters came in the 1996/97 group stage. Ajax ruined Auxerre's debut appearance in the competition with a 1-0 success in France – still the only victory by Dutch visitors to Stade Abbé-Deschamps – but the Ligue 1 outfit gained a 2-1 away win and finished top of the group with Ajax second.
• Auxerre have a strong home record against Dutch visitors with four wins, two draws and just one defeat from seven matches – although it was Ajax who inflicted that solitary loss.
• Ajax's last visit to France ended in defeat at Olympique de Marseille in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 16. Although Luis Suárez converted a penalty, Ajax lost 2-1 and could only draw 2-2 at home, where they recovered a two-goal deficit through Eyong Enoh and Miralem Sulejmani.
• Ajax's overall away record against Ligue 1 opposition is W4 D1 L3.
• Jean Fernandez's Auxerre lost 1-0 to Real Madrid CF in their opening home game in Group G but had previously defeated FC Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 in the play-off round. Martin Jol's visitors have yet to win on their travels in this season's competition after draws at PAOK FC (3-3) and FC Dynamo Kyiv (1-1) in qualifying and a 2-0 defeat at AC Milan on Matchday 1.
• Tainio was at Auxerre from 1997 to 2005 and made 150 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring 14 goals. He scored Auxerre's goal in a 1-1 draw with PSV Eindhoven in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round.
• Retired Dutch defender Frank Verlaat is another player to have served both Ajax (1986-89, 1999-2000) and Auxerre (1992-95).
• André Ooijer helped PSV earn a 0-0 draw at Auxerre in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage. With PSV, Ooijer also faced Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 16 in 2005/06. He played in a 1-0 first-leg home loss but was missing for the 4-0 defeat in France where Benoît Pedretti appeared as a substitute for Lyon.
• Ooijer was in the Netherlands side that beat France 4-1 at UEFA EURO 2008.
• Suárez and Nicolás Lodeiro were in the Uruguay team that held France 0-0 in the group stage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Lodeiro was sent off 17 minutes after coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute having collected two yellow cards.
• Mounir El Hamdaoui and Kamel Chafni are both Moroccan internationals.