Despite returning to training, James Rodriguez remains sidelined as Bayern Munich travel to Amsterdam with top spot in UEFA Champions League Group E on the line against Ajax.

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Bayern are already guaranteed a place in the round of 16 after they dispatched Benfica 5-1 on Matchday 5. They now travel to the Dutch capital with three consecutive wins under their belt and two points clear of their opponents, meaning a draw is enough to win the group. Robert Lewandowski comes into the game with four goals in his last three matches, and is the Champions League’s top scorer this season with six. He also became the third fastest player to reach 50 Champions League goals with his brace against Benfica. Niko Kovac may use the game to give Thiago and Kingsley Coman first starts since the pair returned from long-term ankle injuries, but a question mark remains over the fitness of winger Arjen Robben after he missed Saturday’s 3-0 win over Nuremberg with a thigh problem.

Ajax are also through to the knockout stage coming into this tie. Managed by former Bayern reserve team coach Erik ten Hag, they sit second in the Dutch Eredivisie with just one loss all season. In a youthful squad, former Schalke strike Klaas-Jan Huntelaar provides the experience and goal threat for Ajax – only Dusan Tadic (14) has more than the 35-year-old this season (13).

Watch: What makes Lewandowski so special

Match stats

  • These sides have met nine times to date, with a perfectly balanced record of three wins apiece and three draws.
  • Lewandowski is the Champions League’s top scorer this season with six (level with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi), and has netted in his last three European games.
  • Bayern are unbeaten in seven away European games (W6, D1), and haven’t conceded in their last two.
  • The Bundesliga champions are undefeated in their last six games against Eredivisie opposition (W4, D2).
  • Huntelaar scored 126 goals for Schalke between 2010 and 2017, including 82 in the Bundesliga.
  • Bayern have won the European Cup and/or Champions League five times (1974-76, 2001, 2013) while Ajax have achieved the feat four times (1971-73, 1995).

Probable line-ups

Ajax: Onana – Mazraoui, de Ligt (c), Blind, Tagliafico – Schöne, de Jong - Ziyech, van de Beek, Tadic – Dolberg
Out: Bande (upper leg), Veltman (knee)
Coach: Erik ten Hag

Bayern: Neuer (c) – Rafinha, Boateng, Süle, Alaba – Kimmich, Thiago – Gnabry, Müller, Coman – Lewandowski
Doubtful: Robben (thigh)
Out: James (knee), Tolisso (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac

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