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Ajax out to make their point against Madrid

They are facing a Real Madrid CF team at the top of their game but AFC Ajax know that a draw carries the considerable prize of a place in the knockout rounds for the first time since 2005/06.

Frank de Boer's Ajax are on the verge of the round of 16
Frank de Boer's Ajax are on the verge of the round of 16 ©Getty Images

They have to try and halt a rampant Real Madrid CF, but for AFC Ajax even a draw carries the considerable prize of a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2005/06.

• The Dutch side hold a three-point advantage over third-placed Olympique Lyonnais and also have goal difference in their favour — Ajax's is +3 to Lyon's -4 — meaning even a defeat in Amsterdam could be enough depending on Lyon's result at GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

• Two goalless draws against Lyon, the second on matchday five, have given Ajax the edge over their French rivals. The Dutch champions beat Dinamo twice (2-0 away, 4-0 home) but lost 3-0 in Madrid in their second fixture with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Karim Benzema.

• That Ajax win was one of five Group D victories for Madrid, who overwhelmed Dinamo 6-2 last time out; they had also won 1-0 in Zagreb on matchday one, and beat Lyon 4-0 at home and 2-0 in France.

• Only four teams have won all six games in a UEFA Champions League group stage: AC Milan (1992/93), Paris Saint-Germain FC (1994/95), FC Spartak Moskva (1995/96) and FC Barcelona (2002/03).

Previous meetings
• Ronaldo scored twice as Madrid won 4-0 in Amsterdam last season despite having Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos sent off late on. First-half goals from Benzema and Álvaro Arbeloa helped ensure Madrid finished top of their group for the third time in the last four editions.

• The lineups in Amsterdam on 23 November 2010 were:
Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Anita, Enoh, Sulejmani (Eriksen 88), El Hamdaoui (De Zeeuw 46), De Jong (Lindgren 76), Emanuelson, Suárez.
Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Ronaldo, Benzema (Canales 82), L Diarra (Mateos 81), Marcelo, Alonso, Arbeloa, Albiol, León (Di María 65), Özil.

• Madrid had earlier won 2-0 at home thanks to a Vurnon Anita own goal and Gonzalo Higuaín's strike.

• Before last season, Ajax were the dominant force in these encounters; of the six fixtures they had four wins to Madrid's one.

• In the 1972/73 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final, Ajax won 2-1 at home to Madrid then triumphed 1-0 in Spain, going on to win a third successive European Cup.

• Ajax won their first five competitive home encounters with other Spanish opponents – scoring 14 goals with no reply – but of the subsequent five they have only won one with two defeats.

Team ties
• During four years as a Barcelona player between 1999 and 2003, Frank de Boer faced Madrid nine times in the Liga and UEFA Champions League, winning two, losing two and drawing five. In the Dutchman's first year at Barcelona, José Mourinho was an assistant to coach Louis van Gaal.

• De Boer was part of the Ajax side that beat Madrid 1-0 in the group stage in September 1995, missing the 2-0 return victory in Spain through injury.

• Gregory van der Wiel was in the Netherlands team that lost 1-0 to Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final in Johannesburg; Iker Casillas, Ramos and Alonso were on the winning side.

• Van der Wiel and André Ooijer played in the Dutch team that beat Kaká's Brazil 2-1 in last year's World Cup quarter-final in Port Elizabeth.

• Christian Eriksen was a substitute in Denmark's 3-1 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying defeat by a Portugal side including Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe, Fábio Coentrão and Ronaldo in October 2010, the latter scoring Portugal's final goal.

• Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld were in the Belgium side beaten 1-0 at home by a Germany team featuring Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira in the sides' opening UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in September 2010.

• Nuri Şahin's Turkey lost a World Cup qualifier 2-0 to Belgium in Brussels on 10 October 2009, Vertonghen playing for the home side.

• Hamit Altıntop scored in Turkey's 3-2 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying victory against a Belgium side that included Vertonghen and Alderweireld in Istanbul on 7 September 2010.

• Nuri spent 2007/08 on loan at Feyenoord from Borussia Dortmund, scoring six goals in 29 matches.