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Rostov v Ajax background

Rostov have an away goal in their favour as they host Ajax with the score at 1-1 following the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off tie in Amsterdam.

Ajax's Mitchell Dijks (right) takes the attack to Rostov in the first leg
Ajax's Mitchell Dijks (right) takes the attack to Rostov in the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images

UEFA Champions League debutants Rostov and four-time European Cup winners Ajax go head-to-head in the return leg of their play-off with the tie finely poised at 1-1.

Previous meetings
• The first leg in the Netherlands was Rostov's first competitive encounter with Dutch opponents.

• In that game, Davy Klaassen's 38th-minute penalty cancelled out Christian Noboa's opener for Rostov as the sides drew 1-1

• Prior to the first leg, Ajax had lost all four of their matches against Russian teams. They went down 3-1 at home and 1-0 away to Spartak Moskva in a 1997/98 UEFA Cup quarter-final and succumbed 1-0 in Amsterdam and 3-0 in Moscow to the same club in a 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.

Ajax's on-loan forward Bertrand Traoré in possession
Ajax's on-loan forward Bertrand Traoré in possession©AFP/Getty Images

Match background
• Ajax eliminated PAOK 3-2 on aggregate to reach the play-offs, Klaassen's 88th-minute strike in the second leg in Greece proving decisive.

• Ajax knocked out Dynamo Kyiv in their only previous UEFA Champions League play-off tie, in 2010/11.

• Rostov accounted for seasoned European contenders Anderlecht in the third qualifying round, triumphing 4-2 on aggregate.

• This is Rostov's first UEFA Champions League campaign; they reached the UEFA Europa League play-offs last season, losing 2-0 on aggregate to Trabzonspor.

Team and coach links
• Ajax defender Heiko Westermann played twice for Germany against Russia in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying; his team won 2-1 at home and 1-0 in Moscow.

• In February 2012, Ajax's Lasse Schöne played for Denmark in a 2-0 friendly loss to Russia.

• Ajax's Jasper Cillessen and Rostov's Noboa met in May 2014, when the Netherlands drew 1-1 in a friendly against Ecuador.

Coach profiles
• Peter Bosz took charge of Ajax this summer following a spell in Israel with Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Capped eight times by the Netherlands, the midfielder spent the best years of his career with Ajax's rivals Feyenoord. He coached a number of Dutch clubs, turning heads with a major overhaul of Vitesse from June 2013 to January 2016.

• Dimitri Kirichenko is in caretaker command at Rostov following the departure of his former coach Kurban Berdyev, who the 39-year-old served as assistant from 2014 to 2016. Former Rostov forward Kirichenko – capped on 12 occasions by Russia – helped Berdyev lead the southern club to a second-place league finish last season.

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