Suarez Fears Spread As Barcelona Battle Ajax

Ajax coach Frank de Boer expects “an emotional” return for Barcelona’s Luis Suárez later on Wednesday, a night when the visitors could go through and the hosts face elimination in the UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona will qualify for the last 16 if they win and Apoel fail to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the section’s other game.

Ajax, meanwhile, need at least a point to retain any real hope of qualifying; a defeat could well leave them eliminated.

Third-placed Ajax are still win-less in Group F after their 3-1 defeat at Barcelona last time out.

Including their 1-1 draw with Paris on matchday one, Ajax are on a four-match unbeaten run at home in the Uefa Champions League (W2, D2).

Ajax ended a run of four consecutive home losses to Spanish teams when beating Barcelona last season. Their home record against Spanish opposition is W9 D3 L5.

Beaten 3-2 in Paris on matchday two, Barcelona have lost five and won just two of their last nine Uefa Champions League away games.

Their last victory on Dutch soil came in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarterfinals, a 3-2 win at PSV Eindhoven that secured a 5-4 aggregate triumph.

The Blaugrana’s overall record away to Dutch clubs is W2 D3 L2.

Barcelona lifted the 1996/97 Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup after a 1-0 victory over Paris at De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam. At the same venue, they had lost the 1990/91 final 2-1 to Manchester United FC.

The clubs met for the first time in last season’s group stage, Barcelona winning 4-0 at Camp Nou, where Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick.

Ajax responded with a 2-1 victory in Amsterdam which ended a run of nine straight defeats against Spanish clubs.


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