Ajax v Liverpool Preview & Predictions – Draw the Value call with Reds injuries

UEFA Champions League final preview

2020-21 UEFA Champions' League Group D preview: Ajax v Liverpool – Amsterdam ArenA –  Wednesday 21st October 2020 – 20:00 hrs BST

Champions League; Ajax v Liverpool Preview

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Dutch champions Ajax get ready to host their English counterparts at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday for a Group D clash of the UEFA Champions League.

Ajax go into Wednesday's game on the back of a 5-1 drubbing of Heerenveen in a Eredivisie fixture last Sunday. The Dutch side have performed well so far in the season, winning 4 out of their five League outings.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds, on the other hand, have come out of a feisty 2-2 draw against EPL table-toppers Everton on Saturday.

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Senegalese international Sadio Mane and winger Mohamed Salah scored for Liverpool in the fixture.

The Premier League title-holders haven't got the start they desired, winning three of their five Premier but had to suffer a 2-7 humiliation at the hands of Aston Villa a fortnight ago.

Ajax form guide in the Eredivisie: WWWLW

Liverpool form guide in the Premier League: WWWLD

Liverpool's defense has been dealt a heavy blow by a serious injury to centre-back Virgil van Dijk sustained in the Everton outing – something that threatens to keep  the towering Dutchman out for the rest of the season.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, midfielder Thiago Alcantara (also injured in the Everton clash) and long-term absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all ruled out.

Fabinho may be forced into a makeshift centre-back role if Joel Matip does not recover, but Liverpool's midfield space should be bolstered by Naby Keita, who is now back in training after being tested negative.

As for Ajax, forward Mohammed Kudus has returned to training after picking up a knock a couple of weeks ago. Erik ten Hag's  side have no major fitness issues as such.

Quincy Promes and Antony could be back for the October 21 clash having spent their time on the benches in the win against Heerenveen.

Liverpool Predicted XI in a 4-3-3 formation:

Adrian (goal), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Ajax Predicted XI in a 4-3-3 formation:

Andre Onana (goal), Noussair Mazraoui, Perr Schuurs, Daley Blind, Nicolas Tagliafico, Ryan Gravenberch, Davy Klaassen, Mohammed Kudus, David Neres, Dusan Tadic, Quincy Promes

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While Ajax’s elimination from the Group Stage of the 2019-20 Champions League was hugely disappointing, one will have to factor in the departure of stars like Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong in 2019 and Hakim Zieych and Donny van de Beek this summer.

A fresh generation of talented young players have emerged, though, to fill the gaps.

They still have the likes of David Neres and Dusan Tadic who can trouble any defense.

Tadic incidentally is directly involved in 13 goals from his 18 appearances in the Champions League, the most by any Ajax player since the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

Having conceded 15 times from their 7 competitive outings this season, the Reds' defending have looked well below par even before Virgil van Dijk’s injury and the Dutch international’s absence will further leave a gaping hole at the back, thus rendering the side very vulnerable to rival attacks.

Jurgen Klopp’s team though have scored at least twice in six of their first seven games this season with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah looking particularly sharp.

Thus it will be upto Liverpool's frontal combine of Salah-Firmino-Sane to make up for whatever deficiencies they may face at the back.

Ex-Wolves forward Diogo Jota who has proved himself to be a valuable acquisition could be introduced at some point of the game in place of Firmino.

Ajax v Liverpool Predictions & betting Odds

Though these teams have never met before, Ajax will be the underdogs. But the absence of Alisson, van Dijk and Thiago could potentially create the chance for Ajax to cause an upset and win narrowly.

UK online bookmakers are wagering on a Liverpool win, though, as the odds below suggest.

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Bookmaker Odds

All bet365 odds quoted are subject to change and were correct as of 20/10/2020.

  • Liverpool to win: 7/10
  • Draw: 3/1
  • Ajax to win: 15/4

Correct score odds & Prediction

  • Draw 1-1: 7/1 at Bet365
  • Liverpool 2-1: 15/2
  • Draw 2-2: 11/1
  • Ajax 2-1: 14/1
  • Liverpool 3-2: 18/1
  • Ajax 3-2: 28/1

Anytime goalscorer

  • Mohamed Salah: 8/13
  • Sadio Mane: 6/5
  • Diogo Jota: 21/20
  • Roberto Firmino: 6/4
  • Dusan Tadic: 21/20
  • Quincy Promes: 2/1
  • David Neres: 9/4

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