Champions League, by the numbers

September, 28, 2010

•  Ajax hosts AC Milan in the only game this week between former European Cup champions. Milan has won seven times, second most behind Real Madrid's nine titles. With four championships, Ajax is tied with Bayern Munich for fourth most (Liverpool has five). No Dutch club has won the title since Ajax triumphed in 1994-1995.

•  Barcelona visits Rubin Kazan for a rematch of the most shocking Group Stage result from last season, in which the Russian side won 2-1 at the Camp Nou. The two teams also played a scoreless draw in Kazan a year ago. Lionel Messi has an ankle injury and may not be able to add to his Barcelona record of 27 Champions League goals. With two goals on Matchday 1, Messi surpassed Rivaldo's mark of 25, which was also accomplished in exactly 45 matches.

•  Dutch club Twente won its first Eredivisie title last season, and opened its first Champions League campaign with a strong draw against defending champion Inter Milan. Twente now travels to London to stare down Tottenham and history because it has never defeated an English club, going 0-6-3 overall against them and 0-4-1 in England.

•  Minus Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, Manchester United heads to Valencia looking to improve on its opening scoreless tie against Rangers. United has won only once in 18 games at Spanish clubs, posting a 1-9-8 record, with the only win coming at Deportivo in 2002. Conversely, Valencia has been strong at home in European competition, unbeaten in 11 straight games, but only six of those were victories. Valencia was undefeated in all 11 home games against English teams until losing twice to Chelsea during the 2007 calendar year.

•  Werder Bremen plays Inter Milan in the Champions League Group Stage for the third time. Werder is winless (0-6-4) in its last 10 games against Italian sides, with the most recent win coming at Napoli in the 1989 UEFA Cup. Inter Milan continues its quest to be the first repeat winner of the European Cup since AC Milan in 1989-1990.



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