Liverpool FC kickstart their Champions League campaign with a trip to Amsterdam to take on Ajax. In the same season we won Big Ears for the sixth time, Ajax made it to the semis, playing some fantastic swashbuckling attacking football before falling victim to an improbable Lucas Moura-led Spurs comeback. Since then, the team looks almost completely different, with several key players such as Hakim Ziyech, Frenkie de Jong, Mattias de Ligt, and Donny van der Beek all leaving for Europe’s biggest clubs. Despite Liverpool’s recent woes against Aston Villa and our sudden-hole in the middle of defence, Ten Hag isn’t taking the challenge lightly. He urged for his team to be brave:
“I don’t know. I just don’t expect another Liverpool without Van Dijk. Their game principles have been hammered into it in such a way that it doesn’t matter whether man A or man B is there. But, the team will not get better without Van Dijk. It does not change my battle plan any further. I want to see a brave Ajax against Liverpool. A team that plays with self-confidence and can implement the principles that we have agreed upon in the field. That’s why I think Liverpool are the best team in the world. Even though they have some setbacks with injuries now, they can absorb that. Even though the defeat against Aston Villa shows that they are not infallible.”
It appears that both teams are all-set for a very attacking game. The Dutch team will have to do that without the services of summer signing Antony, who has scored three goals in five games this season. Sit back, cue up that Champions League theme and enjoy as the Reds embark on another European adventure!