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Panathinaikos v Ajax background

Panathinaikos kick off their Group G campaign with a blast from the past as they take on Ajax, the side who beat them in the 1971 European Cup final at Wembley.

Velibor Vasović celebrates winning the 1971 European Cup with Ajax
Velibor Vasović celebrates winning the 1971 European Cup with Ajax ©Getty Images

Ajax supporters of a certain generation will remember matches against Panathinaikos fondly as the clubs prepare to face off in UEFA Europa League Group G.

Previous meetings
• Ajax won the first of their four European Cups by defeating Panathinaikos 2-0 in the 1971 final at Wembley.

• A quarter of a century later, in the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Ajax once again came out on top, triumphing 3-0 in Athens after a 1-0 reverse in Amsterdam. The teams for the second leg in Greece, where Jari Litmanen scored twice, were:
Panathinaikos: Wandzik, Apostolakis, Markos (Lagonikakis 84), Georgiadis, Kalitzakis, Kolitsidakis, Borrelli, Kapouranis, Warzycha, Marangos (Nioplias 74), Donis.
Ajax: Van der Sar, Reiziger, Blind, F de Boer, Silooy (Wooter 86), R de Boer, Finidi George, Davids (Scholten 84), Kanu, Litmanen, Bogarde.

• Panathinaikos's record in nine matches against Dutch opposition is W3 D2 L4 (W2 L2 at home).

• Ajax have won seven of their 15 games against Greek teams, drawing five and losing the other three (W3 D2 L2 away).

1971 final highlights

Form guide
• Panathinaikos are unbeaten in six European games (W3 D3), including four in qualifying this season.

• The Greens are also unbeaten in their last five continental home fixtures (W3 D2).

• Having made it through their first three UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, Panathinaikos have missed the cut in their last two attempts.

• After three successful attempts to get through their UEFA Cup group, Ajax failed to qualify for the first time in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Andrea Stramaccioni
Andrea Stramaccioni©Getty Images

Links and trivia
• The journey from Amsterdam to Athens is almost 2,200km.

• Panathinaikos's Swedish forward Marcus Berg is in line to make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance; he has scored 21 European goals to date for his clubs.

The coaches
• Italian coach Andrea Stramaccioni led Panathinaikos to a third-place finish in Greece in 2015/16, his first season with the club. A qualified lawyer whose playing career was ended by injury, he specialised as a youth coach before leading Internazionale Milano and Udinese in Serie A.

• A Dutch title winner as a midfielder with Feyenoord, Peter Bosz returned from Israel to take charge of Ajax in May 2016. Bosz has coached Heracles and Vitesse in the Netherlands, briefly coaching Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2016.