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Oct 21, 2020 at 8pm UK
AjaxAjax
0-1
LiverpoolLiverpool

Promes (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Tagliafico (35' og.)
Milner (38'), Alexander-Arnold (80')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_129178/index.html?art_id=418984&game_id=129178&sport_id=1&ESI

How Liverpool could line up against Ajax

:Headline: How Liverpool could line up against Ajax: ID:418984: from db_amp
Sports Mole looks at how Liverpool could line up for Wednesday night's Champions League Group D showdown with Ajax at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.

Six-time kings of Europe Liverpool begin their Champions League campaign on Wednesday night when they travel to Amsterdam to take on Ajax in their Group D opener.

The Premier League champions will be looking for their first win of October at the fourth attempt, having been held to a highly contentious and action-packed 2-2 draw by Everton in the Merseyside derby on Saturday.

In addition to dropping two points through a dubious VAR intervention, Liverpool also lost a number of key players to injury and therefore travel to Netherlands with a depleted squad.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Jurgen Klopp could set his side up for the contest.



Out: Virgil van Dijk (knee), Alisson Becker (shoulder), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee)
Doubtful: Thiago Alcantara (knee), Naby Keita (coronavirus), Joel Matip (muscle), Kostas Tsimikas (thigh)

> Click here for Liverpool's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Liverpool will be without the two players most credited with turning them into a European force again for this match, with both Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker sidelined.

The Reds may have to make do without their colossal centre-back Van Dijk for the remainder of the season after it was confirmed that he will require surgery on the ACL injury inflicted on him by Jordan Pickford's reckless challenge in the derby.

There is better news as far as Alisson is concerned, with the goalkeeper reportedly hopeful of returning from his shoulder injury before the end of the month, but Adrian - whose error contributed to Liverpool's exit from this competition at the hands of Atletico Madrid last season - will continue to deputise for this match.

Van Dijk was not the only Liverpool player on the wrong end of a knee-high challenge in Saturday's derby, and Richarlison's red-card tackle on man-of-the-match Thiago Alcantara has left the midfielder as a major doubt for this game.

Thiago will be assessed ahead of the trip to Amsterdam and the problem is not as serious as first feared, but he is still expected to miss this match.

To add to the pain of that trip to Goodison Park, Joel Matip is also a doubt after undergoing scans on a slight muscle problem he sustained, potentially limiting Liverpool's centre-back options even further.

Should Matip miss out then Fabinho is expected to drop into centre-back alongside Joe Gomez, while Jordan Henderson is likely to fill the defensive midfield role in Thiago's absence.

Naby Keita is back available for the Reds after returning a negative coronavirus test, and he could be thrown straight back into the starting lineup due to the reshuffling required by Klopp.

The front three is likely to remain untouched, although Roberto Firmino's underwhelming start to the season has seen some call for him to be rested, with Diogo Jota waiting in the wings.

Firmino is one of only two players - alongside Kylian Mbappe - to have reached double figures for both goals and assists in the Champions League since his debut in the competition in 2017-18, though, directly contributing to 26 goals in 33 games during that time.

Should he start again as expected then it would be his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition.

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last updated article - 2020-10-19 20:42:01:
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