AFC Ajax coach Frank de Boer and Borussia Dortmund counterpart Jürgen Klopp expect a "tough" Group D encounter, with each eager to stick to their own style despite the stakes.
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The coaches of AFC Ajax and Borussia Dortmund agreed their meeting in Amsterdam will be "tough" for both sides, with home coach Frank de Boer instructing his charges to "believe in ourselves" and Jürgen Klopp wanting the visitors to show their usual positive approach.
Frank de Boer, coach
This game might be all or nothing, but we just want to play our own football, like we've tried in all our games in the Champions League this year. We have done well in three matches so far, barring the one against Real Madrid.
We are always hard to beat in our own stadium, so I am counting on that. We believe in ourselves. It's nice that we have a good record against German teams at home, and we will try to continue that streak.
We still want to qualify. We know that it will be tough, and that it depends on how this match develops. If we get the feeling that there is a chance to push forward, we will certainly aim to do that, but if we feel we need to hold on for a draw in the last ten minutes, then we will focus on that. Our main target is the three points.
Saturday: Ajax 2-0 VVV-Venlo (Boerrigter 47, Hoesen 84)
Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander, Blind (Dijks 78); Schøne, Poulsen, Eriksen (Hoesen 72); Boerrigter (Lukoki 62), De Jong, Fischer.
• Daniel Hoesen scored on his Ajax debut as Frank de Boer's men recorded their first Eredivisie win since 29 September.
Goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer (illness) was unable to play at the weekend, but returned to training the following day and is expected to have recovered for the visit of Dortmund. Ryan Babel is definitely out having dislocated a shoulder versus PEC Zwolle on 11 November, a match in which Toby Alderweireld suffered a groin injury.
Jürgen Klopp, coach
We are aware that it will be very tough for us. In the first match against Ajax, we saw how strong their team is. We will try to respond with positive football and play our own game. We will not be playing for a draw.
I admire Frank de Boer for the player he was, but certainly also the coach that he is. He has brought Ajax back to a higher level after a difficult period for the club. I think that both Ajax and ourselves will have to make sure that surprises are possible in this group, and that its outcome will perhaps be different than many people expected at first.
Saturday: Dortmund 3-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth (Lewandowski 3 15pen, Götze 42; Stieber 5)
Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotić, Hummels, Schmelzer; Gündoğan (Grosskreutz 73), Bender; Błaszczykowski (Leitner 83), Götze (Reus 66), Perišić; Lewandowski.
• Jürgen Klopp celebrated his 250th Bundesliga match as a coach with a win.
Jakub Błaszczykowski made his first competitive appearance since tearing ankle ligaments against Hannover 96 on 7 October.
• Ajax have posted 12 wins in 13 home games against Bundesliga sides and will hope for a lucky 13th against a Dortmund team who beat them 1-0 on matchday one.