Preview and Prediction
The Champions of 2019 edition, The Reds, are seeking for another glory this season, especially since the final will be held in Istanbul, which led to their magical win in 2005. This midweek they will start the campaign by visiting Amsterdam to take on the four-time winner, Ajax Amsterdam. The host is also looking for their path for winning another title after their last glorious season in 1994/95.
The teams’ previous games
The Amsterdammers did not have any difficulty last weekend while facing Gronigen. They trashed the visitors 5-1. Dusan Tadic’s brace plus a goal each from Mohammed Kudus, Davy Klaessen and Anthony gave them their victory while Gronigen only responded once by Henk Veermann.
Liverpool was not able to return to their winning ways yet last weekend. In the Merseyside derby against Everton, they were held in a 2-2 draw. Sadio Mane gave them the early lead but then Michael Keane equalised. On the second half, Mo Salah’s strike put them back in front. However, Dominic Calvert-Lewin denied their prospective win as he found the equaliser through his header.
Erik Ten Hag is likely to employ 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 as usual this season. Dusan Tadic and Anthony will be playing out wide while Muhammed Kudus, who has contributed one goal and three assists so far will occupy the number ten role to support Zakaria Laybad or Quincy Promes as the targetman.
Meanwhile, Juergen Klopp, unfortunately, has to face a crisis for their backline in this upcoming fixture as Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Alisson are ruled out along with Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Konstaninos Tsimikas. It might give an impact to Klopp’s regular starting IX for 4-3-3 formation. Fabinho and Joe Gomez will be the only safe option left for the center back while in the midfield, Jordan Henderson will be accompanied by Gini Wijnaldum and possibly Xerdan Shaqiri or Curtis Jones.
Players to watch
Ajax has always been famous for its youngsters in the squad plus some senior ones to guide them. Muhammed Kudus is currently their expected rising star as well as the Brazilian winger Anthony and David Neres, whereas the former Southampton man Dusan Tadic will be the one who lead the team alongside Daley Blind and Nicolas Tagliafico.
The absence of Virgil Van Dijk might push Klopp to rely on scoring more instead of keeping a clean sheet here. Thus, he will be clinging on Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino to net the ball as many as possible. Another notable name to watch is Andrew Robertson.
Ajax vs Liverpool Prediction
It is a match of the young guns versus the settled team with solid personals. Despite being the favourite on the paper, The Reds’ potential defending crisis could be the holes Dusan Tadic and Co will exploit which might lead to a defeat for the visiting side. Yet, Liverpool’s experience might help them steal one point here at least.