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Fenerbahçe v Ajax background

Fenerbahçe and Ajax were the fancied teams in UEFA Europa League Group A, but with both sides yet to hit top form this matchday three meeting has taken on added importance.

Fenerbahçe recovered from 2-0 down to draw with Celtic on matchday two
Fenerbahçe recovered from 2-0 down to draw with Celtic on matchday two ©Getty Images

Fenerbahçe SK made a miserable start at home in UEFA Europa League Group A and have reason for concern as they welcome an AFC Ajax team who have won all of their previous games against Turkish clubs.

Previous meetings
• The sides' only previous UEFA meetings came in the second round of the 1968/69 European Champion Clubs' Cup, Rinus Michels' Ajax beating Ignác Molnár's Fenerbahçe 2-0 home and away.

• Fenerbahçe's record in 16 games against Dutch opponents is W4 D3 L9 (W3 D1 L4 in Istanbul – W1 D2 L5 in the Netherlands).

• Ajax have won all eight of their previous matches against Turkish teams, scoring 21 goals and conceding just two. However, they have not met Süper Lig opponents since November 1993.

Form guide
• Fenerbahçe are without a win in Group A, having unexpectedly lost 3-1 at home to Molde FK in their first fixture and then drawn 2-2 with Celtic FC.

• Ajax have drawn their last three European games: 1-1, 2-2, 0-0.

• Both sides entered this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs following elimination from the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

• Semi-finalists in 2012/13, Fenerbahçe have made it through to the round of 32 in all three of their UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns (2006/07, 2009/10 and 2012/13).

• Ajax have made it through to the round of 32 in all three of their previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns. They have featured at one stage or another in the last nine editions of the competition, meaning they are the only ever-present club in the seven seasons of the UEFA Europa League.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Amsterdam to Istanbul is around 2,200km.

• Fenerbahçe's Netherlands striker Robin van Persie last faced Ajax with Arsenal FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage, coming on as a substitute in a 0-0 draw.

• Fenerbahçe defender Simon Kjær could come up against Denmark team-mates Viktor Fischer, Nicolai Boilesen and Lasse Schöne.

• Fenerbahçe defenders Michal Kadlec and Gökhan Gönül can make their 50th UEFA club competition appearances in this game.

The coaches
• Fenerbahçe coach since June, Portuguese technician Vítor Pereira was André Villas-Boas's assistant when FC Porto won the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League. He later claimed two league titles as the Dragons' coach and a domestic double in Greece with Olympiacos FC in 2014/15.

• Frank de Boer has been in charge of Ajax since 2010, and in 2014 became the first coach to lead the club to four successive Eredivisie titles. The defender lifted the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League as an Ajax player.

• De Boer played for Fenerbahçe's city rivals Galatasaray SK in 2003/04, scoring one goal in 15 Süper Lig outings.