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Ajax v Barcelona background

FC Barcelona will have former AFC Ajax striker Luis Suárez available for their trip to Amsterdam where they could well book their place in the last 16 with a second victory.

Luis Suárez is available to play in the UEFA Champions League for the first time as a Barcelona player
Luis Suárez is available to play in the UEFA Champions League for the first time as a Barcelona player ©AFP/Getty Images

AFC Ajax are looking to avenge their matchday three defeat at the Camp Nou when they host an FC Barcelona side who have Luis Suárez – an Ajax old boy – available for selection for the first time in the UEFA Champions League.

• Barcelona will qualify for the last 16 if they win and APOEL FC fail to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the section's other game. Ajax, meanwhile, need at least a point to retain any real hope of qualifying; a defeat could well leave them eliminated.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met for the first time in last season's group stage, Barcelona winning 4-0 at Camp Nou, where Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick. Ajax responded with a 2-1 victory in Amsterdam which ended a run of nine straight defeats against Spanish clubs.

• The lineups for that latter encounter on 26 November 2013 were:
Ajax: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander, Boilesen (Poulsen 34), Klaassen, Blind, Serero, Schöne (Denswil 51), Hoesen (Duarte 84), Fischer.
Barcelona: Pinto, Puyol (Gabarron 82), Mascherano, Piqué, Montoya, Song, Xavi (Sergi Roberto 74), Iniesta, Pedro, Fàbregas (Traoré 82), Neymar.

Match background

• Third-placed Ajax are still winless in Group F after their 3-1 defeat at Barcelona last time out.

• Including their 1-1 draw with Paris on matchday one, Ajax are on a four-match unbeaten run at home in the UEFA Champions League (W2, D2).

• Ajax ended a run of four consecutive home losses to Spanish teams when beating Barcelona last season. Their home record against Spanish opposition is W9 D3 L5.

Beaten 3-2 in Paris on matchday two, Barcelona have lost five and won just two of their last nine UEFA Champions League away games.

• Their last victory on Dutch soil came in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, a 3-2 win at PSV Eindhoven that secured a 5-4 aggregate triumph.

• The Blaugrana's overall record away to Dutch clubs is W2 D3 L2.

• Barcelona lifted the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup after a 1-0 victory over Paris at De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam. At the same venue, they had lost the 1990/91 final 2-1 to Manchester United FC.

Coach and player links
• Luis Enrique and Frank de Boer were Barcelona team-mates from 1999 to 2003. In those four years, De Boer made 144 Liga appearances and won the Spanish title in 1999.

• The pair had previously played against each other when Luis Enrique's Real Madrid CF lost 1-0 at De Boer's Ajax in a UEFA Champions League group stage match in September 1995. De Boer missed the return in Spain when Luis Enrique's Madrid lost again (0-2).

• De Boer scored twice against Spain as a Netherlands player, hitting winning goals in a 2-1 friendly victory in November 2000 and another friendly success (1-0) in March 2002.

• De Boer was assistant coach of the Netherlands team beaten 1-0 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final by a goal from Spain's Andrés Iniesta.

• A Dutch Cup winner in 2010, Suárez made 110 Eredivisie appearances for Ajax (2007–11) and scored 81 goals. His record in the UEFA Champions League for Ajax, qualifiers included, was 11 appearances and five goals.

• Jasper Cillessen was in goal for the Netherlands side that brushed aside Spain 5-1 in their opening match at the 2014 World Cup on 13 June. Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández and Iniesta started for Spain; Pedro Rodríguez appeared as a substitute.

• Cillessen and Claudio Bravo were in opposing goals when the Dutch beat Chile 2-0 in their final group match in Brazil.

• Thomas Vermaelen played for Ajax from 2003 to 2009 (98 league appearances), winning the Eredivisie and two Dutch Cups as well as captaining the club.

• Niklas Moisander captained Finland in two 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Spain – a 1-1 draw in Gijon in March 2013 and a 2-0 home loss six months later in which Alba scored.

• Danny Hoesen was in the Netherlands side beaten 3-0 by Spain in the group stage of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Martín Montoya, Marc Bartra and Cristian Tello watched from the Spain bench.

Match facts

• Joël Veltman will incur a suspension with his next booking.

• Richairo Zivkovic, having come on as a half-time substitute, marked his Ajax debut with the final goal as De Boer's men won 4-0 at amateur side SV Urk on 28 October in the Dutch Cup round of 32.

• Riechedly Bazoer also made his debut against Urk. Having scored six in the previous round, Arkadiusz Milik was on target twice before the break.

• A double on Saturday from Lasse Schöne set Ajax en route to their second successive 4-0 victory, against ten-man Dordrecht 90. Ajax have scored 11 goals in winning their three games since matchday three.

• Viktor Fischer (out since 23 February, hamstring) remains sidelined. Thulani Serero, having not played since 18 October, made his return from a hamstring injury against Dordrecht.

• Jairo Riedewald made his first UEFA Champions League appearance on matchday three and in the process became the club's first debutant in the competition to have been born after Ajax's 1995 European Cup win.

• Barça conceded their first Liga goals of the season as they lost 3-1 to Madrid on 25 October. Including the final game of last term, the Azulgrana's defence had not been breached in 795 minutes prior to Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half penalty.

• Making his competitive debut for Barcelona, Suárez provided the assist for Neymar to open the scoring.

• Barcelona were beaten 1-0 at home on Saturday by the club Luis Enrique coached last season, RC Celta de Vigo. The Camp Nou side, who struck the crossbar four times, had not lost back-to-back Liga games since May 2009.

• Messi has scored 250 Liga goals, one shy of Telmo Zarra's record.

• His strike on matchday three was his 69th in the UEFA Champions League, two behind Raúl González's competition best.

• Jérémy Mathieu picked up a calf injury against Celta and is likely to be out for up to three weeks. Iniesta is a doubt to face Ajax after sustaining a calf injury in the Clásico.

• Douglas (foot) has not played since he made his Blaugrana debut against Málaga CF on 24 September.

• Vermaelen has yet to make his first appearance for the club due to a hamstring injury he sustained at the FIFA World Cup.

• Iniesta, Javier Mascherano and Messi are in the running for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or. A three-man shortlist will be announced on 1 December, with the winner revealed on 12 January in Zurich.