When the two teams square off on Wednesday at the Johann Cruyff Arena, Ajax must defeat Liverpool in order to stay in the Champions League.
Ajax vs Liverpool – Preview
The Reds might go to the knockout rounds with just a point if they draw. However, a win could be necessary for Jurgen Klopp’s team to have a chance of unseating Napoli as Group A‘s best team.
The Amsterdam side doesn’t have a good track record against the Reds. They have lost their last three Champions League matches against Liverpool. As far as the away fixture goes, the Reds have defeated the mighty Ajax in an away game back in 2020 with a 1-0 score.
Ajax seemed to have a good chance of making it to the knockout rounds this season after defeating Rangers 4-0 in their competitive debut.
Alfred Schreuder’s team must defeat the 2018-19 champions. And hope Napoli does the same on the last matchday in order to advance to the next round. However, after three straight losses, they are now six points behind their next opponent Liverpool with two games left.
Optimistic or Ambitious?
There is no reason for the Dutch team to be nervous going into the match. Defeating Liverpool would unquestionably be the club’s most favorable outcome. Moreover, they were just a few seconds from playing Jurgen Klopp’s team in the 2019 final before Lucas Moura’s injury-time winner sent Tottenham Hotspur through.
Meanwhile, Liverpool appeared to have turned the corner after victories against Manchester City and West Ham. They won both by a score of 1-0, in a couple of weeks. However, on Saturday at the City Ground, Liverpool lost to a revitalized Nottingham Forest by a score of 1-0.
Perhaps more concerning for Klopp is that his team consistently gives their opponents good-caliber opportunities. While Alisson Becker is generally not one of the Premier League’s busiest goalkeepers, statistics indicate that the average quality of the chances he has faced this season is greater than that of any of his rivals in the league.
The Reds’ success in Europe is now much more important as any outside dreams of closing the big points deficit down to Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the league are now definitely gone. Liverpool’s trip to Amsterdam on Wednesday is crucial because they do not want to play Serie A leaders Napoli on the last matchday with their chances of moving on to the knockout rounds still intact.
Due to injury, Liverpool will be missing Diaz, Jota, and Joel Matip for the trip. However, Nunez, Thiago Alcantara, and Ibrahima Konate may be able to rejoin the team for this game.
If Nunez and Thiago are found to be available, they will almost surely be included in the starting lineup. Konate, meanwhile, may replace Joe Gomez and start opposite Virgil van Dijk, depending on how his recent injury is being treated.
Both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have begun training following lengthy muscle ailments. However, Klopp didn’t consider any of them for the Champions League team. It was anticipated that neither midfielder would be healthy in time to contribute significantly during the group stage.
Possible starting XI
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Thiago, Henderson, Elliott, Salah, Nunez, Firmino
What Anfield Home Predicts?
Ajax 1-3 Liverpool
On Wednesday, we anticipate a brutally contested match. Both sides require a win to increase their prospects of moving on to the knockout rounds.
Schreuder will almost probably go all out for the victory because a draw is really of little benefit to Ajax, which might play into Liverpool’s hands later on.