Two Davy Klaassen goals have given Ajax the upper hand as they visit Schalke for their UEFA Europa League quarter-final decider.
• Ajax won 2-0 when the sides met for the first time in UEFA competition in the first leg. The average age of their squad on the night was just 22.
• Schalke’s nine games against Dutch sides have ended W3 D1 L5 (W3 D0 L0 at home). Encouragingly, all three of those home wins were by three-goal margins.
• Ajax’s 33 games against German sides have ended W21 D5 L7 (W7 D4 L6 in Germany). Those games include the final of the 1987 European Cup Winners’ Cup, where they beat Leipzig 1-0 in Athens.
• Schalke are unbeaten in five European home games this season: three wins by two-goal margins in the group stage followed by two 1-1 draws in the knockout phase.
• Ajax’s record in seven European away games this season is W2 D3 L2. They have not won in their most recent four on the road (D3 L1).
• Schalke lost 6-4 on aggregate to Athletic Club in their most recent quarter-final, in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League.
• Ajax have appeared in all eight UEFA Europa League campaigns – the only club to do so – but this is the first time they have reached the quarter-finals. In overcoming København 2-0 at home, they became the first Dutch club to win a UEFA Europa League knockout phase tie after losing the first leg.
• Ajax have not reached a major European quarter-final since bowing out to AC Milan in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League, and last got to a semi-final in the 1996/97 edition of the same competition, succumbing to Juventus.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Amsterdam to Gelsenkirchen is around 175km.
• Schalke’s Thilo Keher is serving a one-match suspension after being booked in the first leg.
• Misses next match if booked
Ajax: Davy Klaassen, André Onana, Davinson Sánchez, Kenny Tete, Nick Viergever
Schalke: Abdul Baba Rahman, Johannes Geis, Leon Goretzka, Matija Nastasić, Benjamin Stambouli
• Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar spent three years at Ajax (January 2006 to January 2009), scoring more than 100 goals.
• Huntelaar played under Ajax boss Peter Bosz while on loan at De Graafschap in 2003.
• Ajax have a former Schalke man in their ranks: reserve defender Heiko Westermann made 123 appearances in three seasons with the Royal Blues between 2007 and 2010.
• Ajax’s German winger Amin Younes spent his formative years at Borussia Mönchengladbach, the side Schalke knocked out in the round of 16.
• Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl progressed to last season’s UEFA Europa League round of 32 with Augsburg, whom he had led since 2012. His playing career peaked when he spent a season with the first-team squad at Bayern München in 1998/99, though he never played a senior match.
• A Dutch title winner as a midfielder with Feyenoord, Bosz returned from Israel to take charge of Ajax in May 2016. Bosz has managed Heracles and Vitesse in the Netherlands, also briefly coaching Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
• Schalke’s record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 D2:
W 4-1 A v FC Internazionale Milano (1996/97 UEFA Cup final)
L 5-4 A v SK Slavia Praha (1998/99 UEFA Cup first round)
L 3-1 A v Brøndby IF (2003/04 UEFA Cup second round)
W 4-1 A v FC Porto (2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16)
• Ajax’s record in five UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L4:
L 4-2 A v Steaua (2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32)
L 4-2 N v Juventus (1995/96 UEFA Champions League final)
W 4-3 N v Grêmio (1995 European/South American Cup)
L 4-2 A v Bohemians Praha (1984/85 UEFA Cup second round)
L 5-3 A v Levski (1975/76 UEFA Cup third round)