Ajax v Rostov background

Ajax will look to ensure Rostov do not make a huge breakthrough in their maiden UEFA Champions League campaign when the teams meet in the play-offs.

Previous meetings
• This is Rostov’s first competitive encounter with Dutch opponents.

• Ajax have lost all four of their previous matches against Russian clubs, all versus Spartak Moskva. They went down 3-1 at home and 1-0 away in a 1997/98 UEFA Cup quarter-final and 1-0 in Amsterdam and 3-0 in Moscow in a 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.

Match background
• Ajax eliminated PAOK 3-2 on aggregate to reach the play-offs, Davy Klaassen’s 88th-minute strike in the second leg in Greece proving decisive.

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Ajax overcame Dynamo Kyiv at this stage six years ago

• Ajax knocked out Dynamo Kyiv in their only previous UEFA Champions League play-off tie, in 2010/11.

• Rostov accounted for seasoned European contenders Anderlecht in the third qualifying round. Their 2-0 success in the second leg was only their second victory in six UEFA away games to date.

• This is Rostov’s first UEFA Champions League campaign; they reached the UEFA Europa League play-offs last season, losing 2-0 on aggregate to Trabzonspor.

Team and coach links
• The game is taking place the day after Rostov midfielder Moussa Doumbia’s 22nd birthday.

• Ajax defender Heiko Westermann played twice for Germany against Russia in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying; his team won 2-1 at home and 1-0 in Moscow.

• In February 2012, Ajax’s Lasse Schöne played for Denmark in a 2-0 friendly loss to Russia.

Ajax’s memorable UEFA Champions League wins

• Ajax’s Jasper Cillessen and Rostov’s Christian Noboa met in May 2014, when the Netherlands drew 1-1 in a friendly against Ecuador.

Coach profiles
• Peter Bosz took charge of Ajax this summer following a spell in Israel with Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Capped eight times by the Netherlands, the midfielder spent the best years of his career with Ajax’s rivals Feyenoord. He coached a number of Dutch clubs, turning heads with a major overhaul of Vitesse from June 2013 to January 2016.

• Dimitri Kirichenko is in caretaker command at Rostov following the departure of his former coach Kurban Berdyev, who the 39-year-old served as assistant from 2014 to 2016. Former Rostov forward Kirichenko – capped on 12 occasions by Russia – helped Berdyev lead the southern club to a second-place league finish last season.

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