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Ajax v Real Madrid background

Ajax must overcome the weight of recent history as they take on holders Real Madrid bidding to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years.

• The Dutch club have reached the round of 16 for the first time since 2005/06 but have never won at this stage of the UEFA Champions League. Furthermore, Ajax have lost their last six games to Real Madrid, conceding 20 goals while scoring only two.

• In contrast, Real Madrid have continued their record of appearing in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 every year since its introduction in 2003/04 – and have not lost a tie at this juncture in nine years.

• Madrid have won the last three editions of the UEFA Champions League and have won their last nine two-legged knockout ties in the competition, since defeat by Juventus in the 2014/15 semi-finals.

Luka Modrić's 2018 highlights

Previous meetings
• The teams have met 12 times in UEFA competition – all in the European Cup – Real Madrid winning seven and Ajax four with only one draw, 1-1 in the first encounter in Amsterdam in the 1967/68 European Cup first round first leg. Madrid won the second leg 2-1 in Spain to progress.

• Ajax won the next four fixtures between the sides, in the semi-final of their victorious 1972/73 European Cup campaign (2-1 home, 1-0 away) and, as holders, in the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League group stage (1-0 home, 2-0 away), when they went on to reach another final. In the latter campaign, Marc Overmars – now Ajax’s director of player affairs – scored the only goal in Amsterdam with Edwin van der Sar (now Ajax’s general director) and Danny Blind, father of Daley, playing in both games.

• Madrid have dominated recent contests between the sides, beating Ajax home and away in the group stage in 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13. Their last trip to Amsterdam brought a 4-1 success in October 2012 – Madrid won by the same scoreline at the Santiago Bernabéu two months later – making it 11 goals in their last three visits to Ajax.

• Daley Blind played in both the sides’ 2012/13 games, Lasse Schöne coming on as a first-half substitute in Madrid’s 4-1 home win.

• Karim Benzema was on target in Madrid’s win at Ajax in October 2012 having also found the net in a 4-0 success in Amsterdam in November 2010 and in Madrid’s 3-0 home victory against Ajax the following September.

See who made the Team of the Year 2018

Form guide
• The 2005/06 tie against Internazionale is Ajax’s sole previous UEFA Champions League round of 16 contest; the Dutch club drew 2-2 in the home first leg – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar opening the scoring – before a 1-0 defeat in Milan.

• Ajax’s last UEFA Champions League quarter-final came in 2002/03, when they were beaten 3-2 at AC Milan having drawn the home first leg 0-0.

• The Dutch club are without a win in their last six UEFA Champions League knockout fixtures (D2 L4), since a 3-2 victory at Atlético Madrid in the 1996/97 quarter-final second leg that completed a 4-3 aggregate success.

• A 1-1 draw in the first leg of that Atlético tie means Ajax have not won any of their last five home UEFA Champions League knockout matches (D3 L2), most recently beating Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the 1995/96 quarter-final second leg (3-0 aggregate).

• Ajax’s last experience of Spanish opposition came in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they drew 2-2 at Celta Vigo before a 3-2 home victory.

• The Amsterdammers have won only two of their last 14 games against Spanish opponents (D1 L11).

#UCL group stage skillzone

• Ajax’s record in two-legged knockout ties against Spanish clubs is W7 L2, the most recent a 3-0 aggregate loss (0-1 home, 0-2 away) against Mallorca in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round.

• Ajax are unbeaten in Europe in 2018/19 – a run of 12 matches (W7 D5). They won their first five home games before a 3-3 draw against Bayern München on matchday six, finishing second behind the German club in Group E.

• Ajax are the sole side still involved who came through qualifying. The other 15 participants in the round of 16 all entered the competition at the group stage.

Real Madrid
• This is Real Madrid’s 23rd UEFA Champions League campaign – and the 23rd in which they have reached the knockout phase.

• Madrid are holders and 13-time champions. Semi-finalists or better in each of the last eight seasons, this is their 49th European Cup campaign – more than any other side.

Best goals of the 2018/19 group stage

• Madrid are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the ninth successive year. Their round of 16 record is W9 L6; they lost at this stage for six years in a row between 2005 and 2010 but have won their last eight ties.

• In 2017/18, Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 at home and 2-1 away, Marcelo scoring in the first leg and Casemiro in the second.

• This is the Merengues’ first knockout tie against Dutch opponents since a 2-0 aggregate win (1-0 away, 1-0 home) against Vitesse in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup third round. That made Madrid’s record in two-legged contests with Eredivisie clubs W6 L3; their last aggregate defeat came on away goals against PSV Eindhoven in the 1987/88 European Champion Clubs’ Cup semi-final (1-1 home, 0-0 away).

• Madrid have won on five of their last six visits to the Netherlands, the 1995 defeat at Ajax their sole loss in their last eight trips (W5 D2).

• This season, Madrid finished top of Group G with 12 points despite losing both games against bottom side CSKA Moskva – including a 3-0 reverse at the Bernabéu on matchday six that was the club’s heaviest home European defeat.

• Madrid have still lost only six of their last 39 European matches, home and away, winning 26.

• Aside from the 1-0 loss at CSKA on matchday two, Madrid won 5-0 at Viktoria Plzeň and 2-0 at Roma in the group stage, and have won 13 of their last 21 European away matches, losing just four.

Best saves of the 2018/19 group stage

Links and trivia
• This is one of only two ties in the round of 16 not featuring a reigning domestic champion, the other being Tottenham-Dortmund.

• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar joined Madrid from Ajax in January 2009, scoring eight goals in 20 appearances before leaving six months later. The Dutch striker faced the Merengues four times with Schalke, scoring three goals including two at the Bernabéu in the German side’s 4-3 victory in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 – a tie his club lost 5-4 on aggregate.

• Nicolás Tagliafico spent 2012/13 on loan in Spain with second division side Real Murcia.

• André Onana came through the Barcelona academy but never made a first-team appearance before joining Ajax in 2015.

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Manchester United v Paris background

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain meet for the first time with a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals the prize for the winners of their round of 16 tie.

• While French champions Paris come into this contest having finished first in a strong Group C, United – who have replaced manager José Mourinho with Ole Gunnar Solskjær since the group stage – were the runners-up behind Juventus in Group H.

• Both teams have suffered recent round of 16 disappointment. United have not reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals since 2013/14, while Paris’s last two campaigns have ended at this stage, at the hands of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Form guide
Manchester United
• This is the English club’s 11th round of 16 tie (W6 L4), and their 18th participation in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages overall. Having lost their first two last-16 contests, United won all but one of the next seven before last season’s defeat by Sevilla.

Solskjær's French love affair

• In 2017/18 United drew the first leg at Sevilla 0-0 but were beaten 2-1 in the home second leg. That ended a 21-match unbeaten run in Europe at Old Trafford (W17 D4), since a 2-1 reverse against Real Madrid in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg.

• Those defeats against Sevilla and Madrid mean United have lost two of their last three home games at this stage of the UEFA Champions League. Their overall last-16 record at Old Trafford is W6 D1 L3.

• United also failed to win their first two home games in this season’s group stage, drawing 0-0 with Valencia before a 1-0 loss against Juventus; they ended that three-match sequence without a victory by beating Young Boys 1-0 on matchday five.

• Despite concluding Group H with a 2-1 defeat at Valencia, United have lost just five of their last 26 European matches, home and away (W16 D5).

• The Red Devils have won six of their seven two-legged knockout contests against French clubs. Solskjær scored in the sole defeat, against Monaco in the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (0-0 away, 1-1 home).

• Most recently, United overcame St-Étienne in the round of 32 in their victorious 2016/17 UEFA Europa League campaign, winning 3-0 at home and 1-0 away.

• That made it three successive victories against French sides, home and away, for United, who are unbeaten in their last eight matches (W6 D2). They have never lost at home to Ligue 1 opponents; their record is W10 D3.

• This is Solskjær’s first tie in the UEFA Champions League proper as a coach; he oversaw eight qualifiers while in charge of Molde (W3 D4 L1). He took the Norwegian club into the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2012/13, and into the round of 32 of that competition three years later.

Neymar's group stage highlights

• This is Paris’s seventh successive UEFA Champions League campaign and they have reached the round of 16 on each occasion – although they are yet to match their 1994/95 achievement of reaching the semi-finals.

• After four successive quarter-final appearances between 2013 and 2016, Paris have lost at this stage in each of the last two seasons. In 2017/18 they went down 5-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid (1-3 away, 1-2 home); 12 months earlier, they had looked set for the quarter-finals after a 4-0 first-leg defeat of Barcelona at the Parc des Princes, only to go down 6-1 in Spain – a UEFA Champions League record comeback.

• Paris’s round of 16 record is therefore W4 L2.

• Paris have won three of their six two-legged knockout ties against Premier League clubs although the most recent ended in defeat against United’s local rivals Manchester City in the 2015/16 quarter-finals (2-2 home, 0-1 away). That second leg is also the last UEFA Champions League match in which Paris failed to score; they have found the net in all 22 matches since.

• The French club have twice beaten English opposition at this stage of the UEFA Champions League, overcoming Chelsea in both 2014/15 (1-1 home, 2-2 away) and 2015/16 (2-1 home, 2-1 away).

See who made the Team of the Year 2018

• Paris have already lost in England this season, going down 3-2 at Liverpool on matchday one. A 2-1 win at home against the Merseyside club on matchday five was their first success in six matches against English clubs (D3 L2).

• The 2016 success at Chelsea is Paris’s only win away to an English club; their record otherwise is D4 L5.

• Paris picked up four points on their travels in Group C this season, drawing at Napoli (1-1) before a 4-1 victory at Crvena zvezda on matchday six – just their third success in their last nine away UEFA Champions League fixtures (D2 L4).

• Despite beating Liverpool and Crvena zvezda in their last two group games, Paris have won only three of their last nine UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L4).

Links and trivia
• Ángel Di María spent 2014/15 at United, scoring three goals in 27 Premier League appearances before leaving for Paris.

• Have also played in England:
Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke 2017/18)
Lassana Diarra (Chelsea 2005–07, Arsenal 2007/08, Portsmouth 2008/09)

• Have played in France:
Anthony Martial (Lyon 2012/13, Monaco 2013–15)
Sergio Romero (Monaco 2013/14)

Best goals of the 2018/19 group stage

• Have played together:
Paul Pogba Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus 2012–16)
Alexis Sánchez Dani Alves (Barcelona, 2011–14)
Alexis Sánchez Neymar (Barcelona, 2013/14)
Anthony Martial Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco, 2013–15)
Sergio Romero Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco 2013/14)

• International team-mates:
Matteo Darmian Gianluigi Buffon, Marco Verratti (Italy)
Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial Alphonse Areola, Pascal Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa, Lassana Diarra, Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappé (France)
Fred Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Dani Alves, Neymar (Brazil)
Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini Thomas Meunier (Belgium)
David de Gea, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera Juan Bernat (Spain)
Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo Ángel Di María (Argentina)

• Pogba, Areola, Kimpembe and Mbappé were all in France’s victorious FIFA World Cup squad last summer.

• Mbappé scored twice in France’s round of 16 win against Rojo’s Argentina at Russia 2018, and was fouled by the United defender to win a penalty.

• Meunier scored Belgium’s opening goal in the third-place play-off win against England at the 2018 World Cup. Phil Jones started the game with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard coming on at half-time.

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