De Boer: No need to fear Barca

UEFA Champions League

De Boer has told his players not to fear Barcelona ahead of a must-win tie for his Ajax side as they are currently in third place, behind group leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Barca respectively, in Group F.

The former Barcelona defender has pointed to the club’s previous Champions League win over the Catalan club, when the Eredivisie champions overcame Barca 2-1 at home, as motivation to repeat the feat.

"You always have to show respect [to your opponents] but that doesn't mean you need to fear them," he said.

"We showed last year [against Barcelona] that we can play against top teams. I want to see confidence from my team tomorrow.

"The most important thing is that we keep playing as a team and someone is always close to [Lionel] Messi. They shouldn't be afraid to play against Messi, Suarez or Neymar."

Suarez will make his first Champions League appearance for his new club, after serving out his four-month football ban, and will make a return to the Amsterdam for the first time since leaving the Dutch side in 2011.

"I think it will be emotional for Suarez to come back to the Arena to play his first UEFA Champions League match [this season]," said De Boer.