It is a Big European Night™ for Liverpool FC as they head to Amsterdam, needing a draw to extend their Champions League campaign and progress to the Round of 16. Their hosts Ajax will be looking to play spoiler and keep their hopes of qualification alive by pushing it to the final week of group fixtures.
Virgil van Dijk, speaking at the pre-match presser, called for the team to remember their collective identity and to improve their away form:
“It is not something that we like. It is something we want to improve as a group. We will try and show the intensity that we always want to show. Every game we play, whether it is away or at home, is always a difficult task and a different ask.”
“For example, the last away game at Forest we played against a very deep defending side and we tried to break them down and you have to be patient and do the right stuff. It makes every game different. We want to improve the situation, we want to improve the away results.”
“It starts (here). We want to show that we are Liverpool. One of the biggest teams and clubs in the world. Ajax are a fantastic club, historically as well with the philosophy of how they want to play. I know how it can be here on a Champions League night when thing go well for them”
“We are prepared for that. We have to match the intensity at least and then do even more. It will be interesting and something we should look forward to. We shouldn’t forget ourselves and who we are. We have to keep the confidence and try and be consistent.”
The Reds will have to make do without the services of Thiago Alcantara, still out from the ear infection that sidelined him against Nottingham Forest. Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, and Arthur Melo also miss out due to their long-term injuries, while Darwin Nunez and Ibrahima Konate have made the trip. Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both healthy, but unable to play because both players were not registered for european competition due to their absences earlier this season.