After a bruising encounter against Everton in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool will begin their Champions League campaign against Ajax in what will be a tricky away tie on Wednesday.
The Reds will be without some of their key players for the clash, and have failed to win any of their last three games in all competitions, but will hope to start their European journey on a positive note.
Jürgen Klopp’s side put in a fantastic display against Everton, but were denied a win by a couple of dodgy VAR decisions at Goodison Park. Klopp knows the season will be a lot harder with Virgil van Dijk now set to be out for a while, but the squad is still good enough to beat Ajax.
Early Team News
Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk will miss the game against Ajax, and the duo will be the biggest misses at the back. Alisson has stepped up his recovery though, and could return pretty soon if not against Ajax. Even Joel Matip, who put in a solid display at the back against Everton, had a muscle strain after the injury, and it’s likely that he will not be risked against Ajax.
Thiago Alcantara picked up a knock late in the game against Everton but could have been so much worse. It remains to be seen if he will be back for the game against Ajax. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still unavailable.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup vs Ajax
Adrian could have done better for the Everton’s first goal in the derby, but apart from that, he had an okay game. The Spaniard played it safe quite often and went long, as confidence was visibly low.
Fabinho could drop back to play alongside Joe Gomez at the heart of the Liverpool defence with van Dijk out and Matip doubtful. The Brazilian is often a reliable presence in the team, and Klopp will hope he can do a good job in the makeshift role.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are expected to continue as the full-backs in the Liverpool lineup. The latter had an impressive first half against Everton.
Klopp has options in midfield, so if Thiago does not fully recover from his knock, we could see another change in midfield. Jordan Henderson is likely to start in the deeper role, and he could be supported by the duo of Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones in midfield.
Jones is expected to get more playing time this season, and Ajax away will be a big game for him if he starts. James Milner and Takumi Minamino are additional options in the middle of the park.
Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are the preferred options, even though Diogo Jota is pushing for a start. He impressed for Portugal during the international break, and with quite a lot of games coming up, we could see some rotations sometime soon.