Liverpool vs Ajax preview | Confirmed team news | Expected line-ups | Prediction
Liverpool take on Ajax in the Champions League group stages at Anfield tonight. Here is our match preview for the game
Liverpool take on Ajax in their penultimate Champions League group stage game at Anfield tonight.
The Reds head into the game sitting top of Group D on nine points from their four games so far but still have work to do in order to secure qualification to the knockout stages after losing 2-0 to Atalanta last week.
The defeat at Anfield has left Liverpool just two points clear of Ajax and Atalanta – who are tied in second place on seven points – so they cannot afford another slip-up at Anfield this evening or qualification to the next phase would hang in the balance.
Defeat to Ajax coupled with a win for Atalanta at home to Midtjylland would see Liverpool drop down to third place in the standings with one game remaining so it’s important they get the job done with victory on home soil tonight.
Liverpool will be desperate to get back to winning ways after two frustrating results over the past week as they followed-up the defeat to Atalanta with a 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday afternoon but they face a tricky test against a dangerous Ajax side.
Liverpool have confirmed Thiago Alcantara remains ‘a few weeks’ away from being available for selection again as he continues to recover from a niggling knee injury that’s kept him out since the Mersey derby in October.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain out with long-term injuries and James Milner will miss the visit of Ajax after suffering a hamstring injury at Brighton. Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in training after recovering from a calf issue but this game will come too soon.
Naby Keita is also a doubt after missing the Brighton game at the weekend with a hamstring complaint while Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still unavailable for selection.
However, Jordan Henderson is expected to return to the starting eleven after making a successful return from the bench at Brighton and Joel Matip will also be recalled after being rested at the weekend.
As for Ajax, they’ll be without Daley Blind due to a hamstring injury while Mohammed Kadus is a long-term absentee.
Ajax XI: Onana; Mazraoui, Schuurs, Martinez, Tagliafico; Labyad, Klaassen, Gravenberch; Neres, Traore, Tadic
Liverpool 2-1 Ajax: This won’t be an easy game for Liverpool as they have huge injury problems and Ajax haven’t lost away from home in the Champions League in their last 11 games so they’ll be quietly confident of getting a positive result.
However, the defeat to Atalanta last week was a rarity for Liverpool as they’re still formidable at Anfield and can field a strong side despite their injury woes so I expect the hosts to win tonight. It might not be straightforward, but I expect Liverpool to get the job done.
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