With Real Madrid CF confirmed as Group G winners, the focus of their Santiago Bernabéu fixture with AJ Auxerre is the visitors' quest to snatch third place from AFC Ajax.
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With Real Madrid CF confirmed as Group G winners, the focus of the Matchday 6 fixture at the Santiago Bernabéu is AJ Auxerre's quest to claim third place and entry into the UEFA Europa League.
• After their Matchday 5 home loss to AC Milan, Jean Fernandez's side sit bottom of the section with three points, one behind AFC Ajax, and need to better the result that the Dutch team achieve in Milan in order to leapfrog them into third.
• A win will take Auxerre into the UEFA Europa League if Ajax lose or draw, while a draw would suffice if Ajax were to lose.
• There are no such worries for Madrid, looking forward to a 14th consecutive participation in the knockout stages and assured first place in the group after winning 4-0 at Ajax last time out.
• Madrid are seeking a third straight home win in the competition against opponents defeated three times already on their travels this term, qualifying included, and also beaten 1-0 by José Mourinho's men in Burgundy on 28 September.
• Madrid faced Ligue 1 opposition twice at home in last season's UEFA Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo (2) and Kaká earned a 3-0 victory against Olympique de Marseille in the group stage but although Ronaldo scored in the round of 16 against Olympique Lyonnais, a late equaliser eliminated them from the competition 2-1 on aggregate.
• Madrid's overall home record against French clubs reads W6 D3 L1.
• Auxerre's record away to Spanish opposition reads W1 D1 L2.
• Auxerre's solitary victory came at RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round. Bernard Diomède and Stéphane Guivarc'h scored in a 2-1 success that preceded a goalless second leg.
• Their most recent trip to Spain brought a 1-0 first-leg loss at Real Betis Balompié in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup third round, former Madrid player Alfonso Pérez the scorer. Teemu Tainio and Yann Lachuer overturned that deficit in the return and Auxerre's only survivor of the tie is Stéphane Grichting, an unused substitute.
• Madrid beat France's Stade de Reims 4-3 in the first European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Paris in 1956. They overcame the same opponents again in the 1959 showpiece, winning 2-0.
• José Mourinho has won seven and lost only one of ten previous matches against French clubs. His sole defeat came in the third round of FC Porto's victorious 2002/03 UEFA Cup campaign, the 1-0 loss at RC Lens not stopping Porto's progress 3-1 on aggregate.
• In the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League, Mourinho's Porto team beat Marseille home and away in the group stage then bettered Lyon in the quarter-finals before winning the trophy with a 3-0 final defeat of AS Monaco FC. With Chelsea FC in the following season's group stage, he oversaw a 3-0 win at Paris Saint-Germain FC and a 0-0 home draw.
• Grichting was in the Switzerland team that upset Spain 1-0 in Durban at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were in the Spain lineup.
• Dariusz Dudka's Poland side were overwhelmed 6-0 by Spain in a pre-World Cup friendly in June. Dudka and Auxerre team-mate Ireneusz Jeleń are international colleagues of Jerzy Dudek.
• Ramos scored in Spain's 2-0 friendly win away to France in March.
• Karim Benzema struck 23 seconds into Lyon's title-clinching win at Auxerre on the final day of the 2007/08 Ligue 1 season. Lyon's 3-1 victory secured a seventh successive French championship for Benzema's old club.
• Benzema and Mahamadou Diarra played alongside Benoît Pedretti at Lyon during 2005/06. Pedretti, during his sole season at Stade de Gerland, came on for the final four minutes of a 3-0 home win against Madrid in a group stage fixture in September 2005, Mahamadou Diarra playing 90 minutes for Lyon. Pedretti was an unused substitute for the subsequent 1-1 draw in Madrid.
• Anthony Le Tallec played with Dudek at Liverpool FC between 2003 and 2005.
• Adama Coulibaly and Mahamadou Diarra are international team-mates with Mali.
• Lassana Diarra spent only one season in French football, with Le Havre AC in 2004/05.