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Juve hold the cards for high-stakes decider

AFC Ajax will need to pick up their first ever win away to Juventus to stand any chance of reaching the UEFA Europa League round of 16 after losing their home opener.

Juve hold the cards for high-stakes decider
Juve hold the cards for high-stakes decider ©UEFA.com

Juventus hold a 2-1 lead as they welcome AFC Ajax to Turin for the decisive leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie, with the Amsterdam side needing a first win away to the Bianconeri to have any chance of progress.

• After Miralem Sulejmani (17) gave Ajax the lead at the Amsterdam ArenA, Amauri (32, 58) turned the game around, though Hasan Salihamidžić's late dismissal took some of the gloss off the result for Juve.

Previous meetings
• Ajax and Juventus are meeting for the 12th time. The Dutch side have come off worse in the previous fixtures, with two wins to Juve's six. Ajax have not won in four previous away games against the Bianconeri, drawing one and losing three.

• Their two most famous encounters came in the finals of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1973 and 1996.

• The clubs' European Cup final showdown in Belgrade on 30 May 1973 was their first meeting – and Johnny Rep's fourth-minute goal handed Stefan Kovács's Ajax side their third consecutive continental crown, meaning they got to keep the trophy.

• Dismissed as Juventus coach in January, Ciro Ferrara was in the Bianconeri lineup when they gained revenge in the 1996 UEFA Champions League final in Rome. After a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes, the Turin side won 4-2 on penalties, with Ferrara converting his team's first spot kick.

• Juve had previously beaten Ajax on away goals in the third round of the 1974/75 UEFA Cup and then 3-0 on penalties in the 1977/78 European Cup quarter-finals after two 1-1 draws.

• Ferrara enjoyed further success against the Amsterdam outfit in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, where Juve prevailed 6-2 on aggregate prior to a 3-1 final defeat by BV Borussia Dortmund in Munich.

• The clubs' most recent meeting came in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage, when Fabio Capello's Juve recorded 1-0 home and away wins against Ronald Koeman's Ajax.

• The lineups for their last encounter in Turin on 23 November 2004 were:
Juventus: Buffon, Tacchinardi, Montero, Emerson, Ibrahimović (Kapo, 77), Nedvěd, Birindelli (Cannavaro, 85), Camoranesi (Olivera, 70), Zambrotta, Thuram, Zalayeta.
Ajax: Vonk, Trabelsi, Escudé, Maxwell, Galásek, Rosales, Van der Vaart, De Jong (Sneijder, 70), Grygera*, Boukhari (Mitea, 59), Babel (Anastasiou, 79).

*now a Juventus player

Match background
• In total, Ajax have played 38 games against Italian clubs with the record W11 D11 L16 (W3 D4 L10 in Italy). Juve's record from 17 games against Dutch opposition is W8 D4 L5 (W5 D1 L1 in Turin).

• Ajax have appeared in the round of 32 in four of the last six campaigns. They were eliminated at this stage by AJ Auxerre in 2005/06 and Werder Bremen in 2006/07 but progressed to the last 16 at the expense of an ACF Fiorentina side featuring Juventus's Felipe Melo last season.

• Ajax are unbeaten in four away games this season (three wins and a draw), and have lost only once in their last seven European fixtures on the road.

• Juventus last played in the UEFA Cup – now the UEFA Europa League – almost ten years ago, losing 4-1 on aggregate to RC Celta de Vigo in the fourth round in early March 2000.

• Prior to a 4-1 defeat by FC Bayern München in their most recent UEFA Champions League home fixture, Juventus were unbeaten in 18 European home games – a run which stretched back to 2004.

Team facts 
• New Juventus boss Alberto Zaccheroni took on Ajax as coach of Udinese Calcio in the second round of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup, with his side winning 2-1 at home but losing the tie on away goals with a 1-0 defeat in Amsterdam.

• Czech defender Zdeněk Grygera played for Ajax in their last tie against Juventus before moving to the Turin club on a free transfer in summer 2007.

• Ajax's on-loan Brazilian striker Kerlon boasts some experience of Serie A football, having represented AC Chievo Verona last season prior to joining FC Internazionale Milano.

• Ajax beat Juve's city rivals Torino FC on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate draw to win the 1991/92 UEFA Cup final.

• Juventus playmaker Diego scored for Werder when they beat a Hamburger SV side coached by Ajax boss Martin Jol in last season's UEFA Cup semi-final – Diego hit Bremen's first goal as they overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit with a 3-2 win at Hamburg.

• Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Del Piero were in the Italy side which beat the Netherlands 3-1 on penalties following a 0-0 draw at the Amsterdam ArenA in the UEFA EURO 2000 semi-finals.

• Ajax's Luis Suárez had more shots on goal than any other player in the group stage, 26 in total. The Uruguayan scored just twice, and notably had two penalties saved in his side's 2-1 win against FC Timişoara.

• The winners of this tie will face the victors of the contest between Fulham FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 16 on 11 and 18 March, playing the first leg at home.

• As mentioned above, two previous games between Juventus and Ajax have been settled on penalties, with the Turin side winning 3-0 on spot kicks in a 1977/78 European Cup quarter-final and 4-2 in the 1995/96 European Cup final.

• Juventus's six continental penalty shoot-outs have ended in three wins and three defeats. Ajax are the only European side they have beaten on spot kicks, with their other success coming against Argentinos Juniors in the 1985 European/South American Cup.

• Ajax have been involved in five continental shoot-outs overall, losing all but one. Their only success came against Brazilian side Grêmio FBPA in the 1995 European/South American Cup game in Tokyo, as they prevailed 4-3.

Suspended: Luis Suárez
Misses next match if booked: Miralem Sulejmani, Jan Vertonghen
Players added to squad: Hyun Jun Suk, Nicolás Lodeiro, Nathaniel Will
Players removed from squad: Bruno Silva, Dario Cvitanich, Kerlon, Daley Blind, Jeffrey Sarpong

Suspended: Hasan Salihamidžić
Misses next match if booked: Mauro Camoranesi, Nicola Legrottaglie, Claudio Marchisio Felipe Melo
Players added to squad: Antonio Candreva, Michele Paolucci
Players removed from squad: Cristian Molinaro, Tiago, Lorenzo Ariaudo