Ajax’s Champions League campaign begins on Wednesday with a clash against Premier League Champions Liverpool. Kick-off in Amsterdam is at 8pm.

Another Champions League campaign gets underway in Amsterdam on Wednesday with Ajax hoping to once against make their way to the knockout stages.

Last year, Ajax dropped points in games they shouldn’t have and ended up exiting in the group stages. Now, a new look Ajax without the spark of Hakim Ziyech, or Donny van de Beek is aiming to put last years failure behind them.

However, that will not be easy with Ajax placed in a tough group alongside Premier League champions Liverpool, Danish champions Midtjylland and the Italian side Atalanta Bergamo, who reached the quarter-finals last year.

First up for Ajax is Liverpool, who lifted the trophy in the year two years ago when the Amsterdammers raced to the semi-finals.

Ajax have had an indifferent start to their Eredivisie campaign, but put in their best performance so far at the weekend as they swept aside Heerenveen 5-1. Erik ten Hag’s side now sit second in the table, and one point off PSV.

Liverpool, have stumbled so far in their defence of the Premier League title, with a 7-2 loss to Aston Villa followed up with a 2-2 draw in the Merseyside derby against Everton.

Jurgen Klopp’s side has also been rocked by the loss of Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk, who is out for months with a knee issue.

Team News

Ajax got their line-up right against Heerenveen but it is likely that Erik ten Hag will tinker with it for the visit of Liverpool.

Ten Hag may choose to go with the experience of Edson Alvarez in the midfield over Ryan Gravenberch, while Quincy Promes is set to start after Antony was ruled out. Dusan Tadic will probably play through the middle as usual in European matches.

Possible Ajax line-up: Onana, Mazraoui, Tagliafico, Blind, Schuurs, Alvarez, Kudus, Klaassen, Promes, Neres, Tadic

Van Dijk is out for Liverpool along with goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Thiago is also a major doubt along with Joel Matip.

Naby Keita is back after testing negative for Covid 19, while Georginio Wijnaldum should come in for Thiago.

Possible Liverpool line-up: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Gomez, Fabinho, Keita, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Odds

Ajax 10/3 Draw 16/5 Liverpool 7/10

Can Ajax start their Champions League campaign with a win?

Liverpool go into the game as big favourites but Ajax are a match for anyone at home if they can find their top level.

Ten Hag’s side will sense an opportunity to get at Liverpool’s defence, which is missing the leadership of Van Dijk. However, Ajax’s defence will also need to be at its best to keep out the dynamic attack of Mane, Firmino and Salah which is full of pace.

Liverpool play with high intensity and Ajax will need to match that, while also containing their full-backs, who play like wingers for most games.

The clash will be an excellent match and there should be goals. It could be another memorable Ajax European night if they can build on the performance over Heerenveen at the weekend.




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