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Anderlecht aim to make their point

Already-qualified AFC Ajax can confirm top billing in UEFA Europa League Group A if they avoid defeat by RSC Anderlecht, but the Belgian side know a loss could prove costly at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Anderlecht aim to make their point
Anderlecht aim to make their point ©UEFA.com

Already-qualified AFC Ajax can confirm top billing in UEFA Europa League Group A if they avoid defeat by RSC Anderlecht, but the Belgian side know a loss  could prove costly at the Amsterdam ArenA.

• Third-placed NK Dinamo Zagreb can deny Anderlecht a place in the round of 32 if they win at home against FC Timişoara, provided Ajax do the same on Matchday 6.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met for the first time in Belgium on Matchday 2, drawing 1-1. Ajax have won all four of their home games against Belgian sides, scoring nine times without conceding. Anderlecht's four trips to the Netherlands have netted them three wins – all by one-goal margins – and a 0-0 draw.

Match background 
• Anderlecht battled through to the round of 16 in their only UEFA Cup group-stage appearance in the 2007/08 season. Ajax played in two UEFA Cup group-stage campaigns, reaching the round of 32 in 2006/07 and making it to the last 16 in the competition's final edition.

• Unbeaten in their last eight European games – including all seven from this season – Ajax have also not lost in eight home matches since a 3-2 UEFA Cup extra-time loss to Dinamo Zagreb on 4 October 2007.

• Anderlecht have won just one of their last five European away games, though two of those fixtures ended in draws.

Team facts 
• Ajax coach Martin Jol had faced Belgian opposition prior to Matchday 2 when Tottenham Hotspur FC manager. His side beat Club Brugge KV 3-1 in London in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Jol was lined up to take on Ariël Jacobs' Anderlecht at the same stage of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, but was dismissed as Spurs coach earlier in the campaign. The London club went on to draw 1-1 under Juande Ramos.

• Anderlecht boast Dutch talent in the form of defender Arnold Kruiswijk, who scored the fastest own goal in Eredivisie history while at FC Groningen, misplacing a back-pass beyond his keeper in a September 2006 game against Heracles Almelo after just nine seconds.

• Kruiswijk could come up against three former Groningen team-mates: Ajax's Swedish midfielder Rasmus Lindgren plus Uruguayans, defender Bruno Silva and forward Luis Suárez.

• Ajax's squad features young Belgian defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

• Anderlecht vice-captain Jelle Van Damme played for Ajax from 2002-04. Like Vertonghen and Alderweireld, the defender came through the ranks at KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen, a Belgian club with strong Ajax links.

• Anderlecht's Amsterdam-born Moroccan international Mbark Boussoufa played in the Ajax youth department from 1996 until 2001, before joining Chelsea FC.

• Anderlecht goalkeeper Davy Schollen played in the Netherlands for NAC Breda from 2004-06.

• Ajax have had more shots on goal in the first five matchdays than any other side in the group stage – 82 – but have scored just seven times.

• They also won more corners than any other side, 45 in total.

• Suárez has had 26 shots on goal so far – more than any other player in the competition – but scored just twice, and notably had two penalties saved in the 2-1 win at Timişoara on Matchday 5.

• Suárez and SK Rapid Wien captain Steffen Hofmann were also fouled more than any other players in the first five matchdays, 19 times each.

• Both Ajax and Anderlecht are preparing for their 100th games in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League.

• Ajax's previous 99 fixtures have netted them 55 wins, 17 draws and 27 defeats; they have scored 193 goals in that time while conceding 92.

• Anderlecht's previous 99 have seen them earn 48 wins, 27 draws and 24 defeats; they have scored 168 goals in the competition and conceded 104.