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Ajax v Panathinaikos background

With Ajax already sure of a place in the round of 32, their next task is to secure top spot in Group G, while matchday five visitors Panathinaikos must win to have any hope of progressing.

Ajax's Joël Veltman pressurises Niklas Hult of Panathinaikos
Ajax's Joël Veltman pressurises Niklas Hult of Panathinaikos ©AFP/Getty Images

Ajax are safely through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 once again, and can condemn Panathinaikos to an early exit as the sides meet again in Group G.

• Ajax are through and will clinch first place with a win, or a draw would suffice if Standard Liège do not win at Celta; Panathinaikos must win and hope the other game is drawn.

• Celta and Standard drew on matchday one so a victory for either side would take them through.

Previous meetings
• Ajax's 2-1 success in Athens on matchday one was the teams' fourth meeting, the Amsterdammers registering three wins to the Greens' one.

• 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 home reverse. The line-ups for the first leg in Amsterdam were:
Ajax: Van der Sar, Reiziger, Blind, F de Boer, Bogarde, Litmanen (Musampa 76), Finidi George, Davids, Kanu, Kluivert, R de Boer.
Panathinaikos: Wandzik, Apostolakis, Ouzounidis, G Georgiadis, Kalitzakis, Kolitsidakis, Borrelli (Markos 83), Kapouranis, Warzycha (Nioplias 90), Marangos (G Savas Georgiadis 62), Donis.

• Ajax have won half of their 16 games against Greek sides, drawing five and losing the other three (W3 D3 L1 at home).

• Panathinaikos's record in ten matches against Dutch opposition is W3 D2 L5 (W1 L2 L1 in the Netherlands).

Form guide
• Ajax are unbeaten at home in eight European games (W3 D5), and are yet to lose in Group G.

• Panathinaikos's 3-0 home loss to Standard was the Greek club's 11th successive UEFA Europa League fixture (excluding qualifying) without a win – one short of the competition record, unenviably shared by Partizan and Slovan Bratislava. It was also their heaviest home defeat in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League, and one of their worst five home results in any UEFA competition.

• 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.

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

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

• Panathinaikos's Swedish forward Marcus Berg played in the Netherlands for Groningen (2007–09) and PSV (2010–11).

• Panathinaikos have received more yellow (19) and red cards (3) than any other side in this season's group phase.

The coaches
• Italian technician 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 coaching 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 managed Heracles and Vitesse in the Netherlands, briefly coaching Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2016.