In the Champions League Group A match that will take place on Tuesday at Anfield between Liverpool and Ajax, two teams who finished on opposite ends of high-scoring contests the previous week will square off against one another.
On day one of the competition, Napoli defeated Jurgen Klopp’s team 4-1, while Alfred Schreuder’s team scored four goals against Rangers without receiving a single goal in return.
Match Preview: Liverpool vs Ajax
All Premier League matches were postponed due to Queen Elizabeth II’s death, while the probe of Liverpool’s defeat at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium continued.
Piotr Zielinski (2), Andre Zambo Anguissa, and Giovanni Simeone beat Liverpool on matchday 1. Liverpool’s terrible start to the season continued against Partenopei, and they’re fighting catch-up to make the last 16.
The Reds are in third place after one encounter, which would send them to the Europa League, but Anfield fans should take solace in the fact that their club has won its last two at home and has never opened a Champions League campaign with back-to-back losses.
Liverpool is unbeaten in 10 matches at Anfield since Inter Milan’s 1-0 triumph last season, but their next opponent did something they couldn’t last weekend.
Ajax, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich all had 18 points in last season’s group stage. Liverpool failed to win seven straight Champions League group games last week. Ajax beat Rangers 4-0 with goals from Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus, and Steven Bergwijn.
The reigning Dutch champions showed no post-Erik ten Hag hangover with a 5-0 Eredivisie pounding of Heerenveen at the weekend. Kudus doubled to keep his momentum going.
Schreuder’s club hasn’t had a rough domestic start, but they shined against Rangers. Before Tuesday’s match, the visitors had five consecutive clean sheets.
Ajax has only lost two of their last 25 European away matches, although their most recent loss was at Anfield by a 1-0 margin in 2020 – just six weeks after the Reds triumphed 1-0 in Amsterdam.
Team News: Liverpool vs Ajax
Klopp’s midfield is thin after injuries to Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Curtis Jones, but Thiago Alcantara’s comeback against Napoli was a welcome boost.
Fabio Carvalho, who has had plenty of time to recuperate from a dead leg, will want to push his way back into the mix, but Ibrahima Konate, Calvin Ramsay, and Caoimhin Kelleher are all nursing injuries of their own and are certain to miss out once again. And Andy Robertson won’t be able to play after injuring his knee in the last minutes of the Napoli game.
After James Milner’s poor performance against Napoli, Klopp may be tempted to bench him in favor of Thiago, and Joel Matip should replace Joe Gomez in the starting lineup at center back.
Liverpool will face Chelsea on Sunday, and Klopp may choose to replace a struggling Mohamed Salah with Diogo Jota in his forward lineup.
Bergwijn, who scored Ajax’s fourth goal in the last minutes of their match against Rangers, was carted off after seeming to hurt himself, but he has now been given the green light to play against Heerenveen.
Ajax finished their 5-0 victory against Heerenveen with 10 men after Calvin Bassey got a hit to the foot; left defender Owen Wijndal has returned to training after an ankle injury but the match with Liverpool will come too soon for him.
After the game, Schreuder said the central defender wasn’t seriously hurt and may play this week. Kenneth Taylor, who is just 20, should also keep his starting place.
- Possible Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago, Jota, Nunez, Diaz.
- Potential Ajax Starting XI: Pasveer, Rensch, Timber, Bassey, Blind, Berghuis, Alvarez, Taylor, Tadic, Kudus, Bergwijn.
Our Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Ajax
Before facing an Ajax team that only knows how to win, Klopp would have wanted the chance to acquire an infusion of confidence to prepare himself for the match. Even while Liverpool’s additional week of rest may work to their advantage fitness-wise.
Especially concerning players like Thiago and Arthur Melo. Klopp might have preferred to have the chance to achieve a victory before playing an Ajax club that only knows how to win.
A Liverpool front line that has been revived may be able to turn up the pressure at the Anfield fortress and save a point for the underachieving hosts.
The back line of the Reds is not sufficient for the task of fighting off an attack from a rampaging Ajax team, but the reinvigorated front line of the Reds may be able to accomplish it.
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