Ajax have their backs to the wall against a Getafe side who are in a commanding position after a 2-0 first-leg win in Spain.
Last season's UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Ajax have their backs to the wall as they strive to keep their European season alive in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League tie against a Getafe side who are in a commanding position after a 2-0 win in Spain.
• The clubs experienced differing European fortunes during the autumn. While Ajax suffered a 0-1 defeat in their final UEFA Champions League Group F fixture at home to Valencia to drop into third place and the UEFA Europa League qualifying berth, Getafe finished as runners-up in UEFA Europa League Group C, reaching the round of 32 with a 3-0 home win against qualifying rivals Krasnodar.
• The first leg belonged to Getafe, who won it with a goal in each half from Brazilian loanees Deyverson and Kenedy, the latter's breakaway strike coming three minutes into added time. It was the Dutch club's first European away defeat in 15 matches (W7 D7).
• This is Ajax's 21st home fixture against Spanish opponents. Their record is W9 D3 L8, with defeats in seven of the last nine encounters, including each of the last two – 1-2 against Real Madrid in last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg (a tie they would go on to win 5-3 on aggregate) and this term against Valencia.
• Getafe's sole UEFA matches against Dutch opposition before this tie brought an away-goals success against Twente in the first round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, a 1-0 home win followed by a dramatic 3-2 defeat in Enschede, with four of the five goals scored in extra time.
• Champions of the Netherlands for the 34th time in 2018/19, Ajax also lifted the Dutch Cup to claim their eighth domestic double and first since 2002. The Amsterdammers also went all the way from the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round to the semi-finals, dramatically losing on away goals to Tottenham in added time after memorable wins in the previous two rounds at Real Madrid and Juventus.
• Ajax lost only two of their 18 European matches in 2018/19 (W10 D6) but that was matched in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage with a pair of 0-1 home defeats by Chelsea and Valencia that, in tandem with a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge in which they led 4-1, left them with ten points and cost them a place in the round of 16.
• Ajax have come through only three of their previous seven UEFA Europa League round of 32 ties, the last two both at the expense of Legia Warszawa. On their most recent appearance in the knockout phase, in 2016/17, they went all the way to the final, which they lost 2-0 to Manchester United in Stockholm.
• Outside the qualifying rounds Ajax have won only one of their last seven European matches in Amsterdam, losing four of them. In the UEFA Europa League knockout phase their home record is W7 L4, with victories in all of the last six games; in the round of 32 it is W4 L3.
• Ajax have lost the first away leg of a UEFA competition tie on 21 occasions and recovered to make further progress just eight times, most recently in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League round of 16 against Copenhagen (1-2 a, 2-0 h). They have overturned a 0-2 first-leg deficit two times out of four in Amsterdam, against Lillestrøm in the 1977/78 European Cup first round (4-0 h) and Athletic Club in the following season's UEFA Cup first round (3-0), but those are the only occasions in their long European history when they have come back from an away first-leg defeat of more than one goal.
• Getafe finished fifth in the 2018/19 Spanish Liga, narrowly missing out on a guaranteed UEFA Champions League berth. Instead they are in the UEFA Europa League for the second time, their 2010/11 debut having ended at the group stage with seven points and a third-placed finish behind Stuttgart and Young Boys.
• The Spanish club's only other European campaign, in 2007/08, was their most successful as they made it all the way to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup before going out on away goals after extra time to German giants Bayern München.
• Getafe made it through to the knockout phase of a European competition for only the second time this season thanks to two victories apiece against Trabzonspor and Krasnodar in Group C. That put them one point behind section winners Basel, who beat them in successive games on Matchdays 3 (1-0 a) and 4 (2-1 h).
• Getafe's 2-1 victory at Krasnodar on Matchday 2 ended a run of five European matches outside Spain without a win (D3 L2) and is one of only two wins they have managed on the road in this competition (D2 L3), the other having come at Trabzonspor on Matchday 5 (1-0). In their 2007/08 UEFA Cup campaign they claimed several impressive away results, winning 2-1 at Tottenham, Aalborg and Benfica and drawing 1-1 at AEK Athens and Bayern.
• Getafe have won both previous UEFA knockout ties in which they claimed victory in the first leg at home, the first that away-goals success against Twente in what was their maiden European tie, the second an extra-time triumph against APOEL in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs (1-0 h, 1-1 a).
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Ryan Babel (Galatasaray, loan), Juan Familio-Castillo*
Out: Hassane Bandé (Thun, loan) Noa Lang (Twente, loan)
In: Deyverson (Palmeiras, loan), Xabier Etxeita, Chema (Nottingham Forest)
Out: Bruno (Levante), Leandro Cabrera (Espanyol), Enrique Gallego (Osasuna, loan), Raúl García (Valladolid, loan)
Links and trivia
• Ajax quartet Quincy Promes (Sevilla 2018/19), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Real Madrid 2009), Ryan Babel (Deportivo La Coruña 2016/17) and Nicolás Tagliafico (Real Murcia 2012/13) have all represented Spanish clubs. Promes played alongside Getafe goalkeeper David Soria at Sevilla.
• Getafe's Nemanja Maksimović and Ajax's Dušan Tadić both play for Serbia.
• Hakim Ziyech and fellow Ajax players Noussair Mazraoui and Zakaria Labyad are Moroccan international team-mates of Getafe's Fayçal Fajr.
• Getafe full-back Allan Nyom plays for Cameroon alongside Ajax goalkeeper André Onana.
• Ajax are competing in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for the eighth time, a competition record they share with Sporting CP.
• Jorge Molina's goal for Getafe against Krasnodar on Matchday 6 made him, at 37 years and 234 days, the fifth oldest scorer in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• Both clubs were defeated in domestic league fixtures on Sunday, Eredivisie leaders Ajax going down 1-0 at Heracles while Getafe lost 0-3 at home to Sevilla – their joint heaviest Liga defeat of the season.
• Ajax's record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L5:
3-5 v Levski Sofia, 1975/76 UEFA Cup third round
0-3 v Juventus, 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final
2-4 v Bohemians Praha, 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round
4-3 v Grêmio, 1995 European/South American Cup
2-4 v Juventus, 1995/96 UEFA Champions League final
2-4 v Steaua Bucureşti, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32
• Getafe have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.
• Erik ten Hag has been in charge of Ajax since December 2017, when he succeeded Marcel Keizer. His first full season in Amsterdam brought astounding success – a domestic league and cup double plus a first UEFA Champions League semi-final for 22 years. He spent most of his playing career at Twente, captaining the club to Dutch Cup glory in 2001, his penultimate season. His first head coaching role was at Go Ahead Eagles, and a spell with Bayern München's second team, where he worked with Josep Guardiola, then preceded a successful stint at Utrecht that prompted his move to Amsterdam.
• A coach of considerable experience in Spain's lower leagues, José 'Pepe' Bordalás has risen to prominence in recent seasons, achieving back-to-back promotions to the Primera División with Alavés and, via the play-offs, Getafe, where he arrived in September 2016. He has since steered the modestly-resourced Madrid club to eighth and fifth place in his first two seasons as a Liga coach, the latter leading to qualification for the group stage of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League – their first European campaign since 2010/11.