Liverpool vs Ajax
| Tuesday, September 13th |
Champions League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Following their humbling 1-4 defeat at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium a week ago, Liverpool will look to get their Champions League campaign — and season as a whole — back on track, as they host fellow European royalty Ajax at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Alfred Schreuder’s men have had a stellar start to their season, winning six straight in the league — to the tune of a 21-3 goal difference — and battering Rangers 4-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena on the opening day of the Champions League.
The loss of Erik ten Hag has not been felt particularly keenly in Amsterdam, and former Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn in particular has been on fire to start the campaign, scoring eight goals in eight games, while the supremely talented but permanently injured Mohammed Kudus has notched five in the same time span.
The two clubs have — incredibly — only met twice in official competition since the 60s, and it was during the pandemic so neither club’s famous fans were allowed to attend. Tomorrow marks an opportunity to right that wrong, and hopefully, the Kop will be in full voice and give the occasion the atmosphere it deserves.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Díaz, Núñez, Salah
Jürgen Klopp’s charges have — following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the oddly haphazard subsequent reschedulings — had a full week to sit and mull over all that went wrong in Naples, and was told today that they will another week off following this one, as Sunday’s clash with Chelsea has also been postponed, so expect the so-far lethargic Reds to come out in full force tomorrow night.
At the back, Joe Gomez is likely to ride the pine following a dreadful performance in midweek, and Andy Robertson is missing with an unspecified knock, so Joël Matip should be back in the XI alongside Virgil van Dijk, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas manning the fullback spots.
Thiago made a substitute appearance against Napoli and should be expected to start, in all likelihood alongside Fabinho and Harvey Elliott, as Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson all continue to miss out through injury. Deadline day loan signing Arthur Melo is available but highly unlikely to start.
Up top, expect Darwin Núñez to get a run at Ajax’s young centre-backs while Diogo Jota will be pushing to replace either Mohamed Salah or Luis Díaz on the flanks.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “I don’t want to give Ajax some sort of hint of what to expect tomorrow night. We don’t have to create headlines before the game; to create positive headlines after the games is from what we do on the pitch.”
Alfred Schreuder: “You have to be good with the ball against these kinds of teams. You need to have guts and courage. Courage is key. If you have that, then you have a chance.“
The Officials (POR)
Referee: Artur Dias
Assistant referees: Rui Tavares, Paulo Soares
Fourth official: António Nobre
VAR: Tiago Martins, Luis Godinho
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.