LOSC v Ajax facts
LOSC Lille can no longer finish in the top two in Group H and need a win against Ajax – who are locked in a three-way tussle at the top of the table – to have any hope of claiming third place and a spot in the UEFA Europa League.
• The Dutch champions were 3-0 winners at home to the French club on Matchday 1 in the clubs’ first UEFA encounter thanks to goals from Quincy Promes (18), Edson Álvarez (50) and Nicolás Tagliafico (62).
• Ajax now have seven points, the same number as Chelsea and Valencia, and cannot be eliminated or go through on Matchday 5.
• LOSC have only one point and will be confirmed in fourth place if they do not win against Ajax.
• After losing in Amsterdam, LOSC were beaten 2-1 at home by Chelsea before a 1-1 draw against Valencia that extended their run without a home victory in the UEFA Champions League proper to ten matches. They were beaten 4-1 in Spain on Matchday 4.
• Second in Ligue 1 last term, this is LOSC’s sixth appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage and their first since 2012/13. Only one of those previous five campaigns has extended into the knockout rounds, in 2006/07; seven years ago they finished bottom of a section including Bayern München, Valencia and BATE Borisov.
• Les Dogues lost all three home games in 2012/13; their last home victory in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, was a 3-1 defeat of AEK Athens on Matchday 3 in 2006/07. Their subsequent record is D4 L6.
• LOSC have not won a home European match since a 2-0 defeat of Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League play-offs in August 2012; their record since is D5 L6.
• LOSC’s most recent foray into continental competition came in 2016/17 and lasted only one tie, Gabala of Azerbaijan running out 2-1 aggregate winners in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (1-1 h, 0-1 a).
• The French club have never beaten a Dutch side in three previous attempts; their only contests before this season came in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 32, when they drew 2-2 at home to PSV Eindhoven before a 3-1 away defeat.
• Having kicked off Group H with that 3-0 win against LOSC, Ajax won by the same scoreline at Valencia on Matchday 2. They were then beaten 1-0 at home by Chelsea before a remarkable 4-4 draw in London last time out, in which Ajax let slip a 4-1 lead and had two players, Daley Blind and Joël Veltman, sent off.
• Ajax went all the way from the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round to the semi-finals in 2018/19, losing on away goals to Tottenham in the last four after conceding six minutes into added time to go down 3-2 at home and bow out after a 3-3 aggregate draw.
• Erik ten Hag’s team lost only two of their 18 European matches in 2018/19 (W10 D6), when they became the first side in European Cup history to reach the semi-finals having come through three qualifying rounds and the first Dutch club to get to the UEFA Champions League last four since PSV Eindhoven in 2004/05.
• Champions of the Netherlands for the 34th time in 2018/19 – their first league title since 2014 – Ajax also lifted the Dutch Cup to claim their eighth domestic double, and a first since 2002.
• They kicked off this season’s UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, seeing off Greek side PAOK 5-4 on aggregate after a 2-2 away draw and a 3-2 home win secured by an 85th-minute Dušan Tadić penalty.
• A goalless draw at APOEL in the first leg of the play-offs ended Ajax’s run of scoring in 14 successive European matches, but a 2-0 home win booked their group return. This season’s results have stretched their unbeaten away run in Europe to 13 matches (W6 D7).
• Ajax last faced French opposition in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, drawing 1-1 at Nice and 2-2 at home to bow out on away goals. They have not won away to a Ligue 1 club in seven matches (D2 L5), since a 2-0 success at Lyon in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
Links and trivia
• David Neres and Gabriel were team-mates in Brazil’s Under-20 side in 2017.
• Dušan Tadić and José Fonte were Southampton team-mates between July 2014 and January 2017.