MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 17:29:26
Oct 21, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
3-1
Ajax
Neymar (7'), Messi (24'), Ramirez (94')
Pedro (80')
FT(HT: 2-0)
El-Ghazi (88')
Veltman (32'), van Rhijn (69'), Riedewald (90')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Ajax

Sports Mole looks ahead to the Champions League group encounter between Barcelona and Ajax at the Camp Nou.

Between 1999 and 2003, Luis Enrique and Frank de Boer were teammates at Barcelona.

But, on Tuesday evening, the duo will have to put their friendship aside when Enrique's Barcelona takes on an Ajax team managed by De Boer in the Camp Nou.

Hosting Barca go into the contest still smarting from their 3-2 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain on matchday two of the Champions League. It was their first loss of the season and also the first goals that they had conceded in all competitions this season.

With rivals Real Madrid to come at the weekend, there may be a temptation for Enrique to rest some of his key players, but reports have suggested that the Barca head coach has every intention of naming a strong starting lineup.

Andres Iniesta could be recalled, with veteran midfielder Xavi being rested as a consequence. There may also be starts for Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets, both of whom were left out at the weekend.

Meanwhile, visiting Ajax will have to make do without the services of winger Viktor Fischer, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring complaint. Aside from that, De Boer has no other pressing injury concerns.

When the two sides met in Barcelona in the group stages last term, the home side ran out 4-0 winners, with Lionel Messi helping himself to a hat-trick.

The Dutch outfit have made 15 separate trips to Spain throughout their history and have five victories to show for their efforts. Their last win in the Iberian nation came at the expense of Atletico Madrid back in 1997.

Going into this contest, Barca are second in the group behind leaders PSG, while Ajax are a point and a place further back in third.

Recent form

Barcelona: WDWLWW

Ajax: WWWDDD

Possible starting lineups

Barcelona: Bravo; Alba, Mathieu, Mascherano, Alves; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Pedro, Neymar, Messi

Ajax: Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Moisander, Veltman, Boilesen; Klaassen, Viergever, Serero, Schone, Andersen; Sigthorsson

Sports Mole says: 2-0

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Barcelona's midfielder Xavi Hernandez scores a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Eibar at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 18, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona44001431112
2Real Madrid4310113810
3Celta Vigo42117527
4Espanyol42115327
5Getafe42114227
6GironaGirona421156-17
7AlavesAlaves421134-17
8Athletic Bilbao31205415
9Atletico MadridAtletico412134-15
10Real Betis412113-25
11Levante41126514
12Sevilla41124404
13Real Sociedad411267-14
14Villarreal411223-14
15EibarEibar411246-24
16Huesca4112612-64
17Valencia403135-23
18Rayo Vallecano310225-33
19Real Valladolid402202-22
20Leganes401349-51

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