‘Liverpool are still a top team’ – Ajax boss on Klopp’s out of form side
Liverpool are on the cusp of qualifying for the Champions League last-16 and will achieve that goal if they do not lose to Ajax tonight. The Reds currently sit second in Group A having won three of their four group games and are six points clear of Ajax in third. They are still in the running to win the group but with Napoli undefeated and scoring freely that may prove to be a difficult task. Their opponents this evening also have an outside chance of pipping Liverpool to second place but will need to win both of their final two matches in the group stages to do so.
There’s a lot at stake then when these sides clash at the Johan Cruyff arena in what will be a testing encounter for Liverpool. They won the reverse fixture 2-1 thanks to Joel Matip’s 89th minute header though the Reds should have seen the game out long before then. Since that loss Ajax have been defeated by Napoli twice but come into the game on the back of consecutive wins in the Eredivisie where they’ve notched up 11 goals in two games.
The Dutch side will pose a threat to Liverpool’s weakened squad. Jurgen Klopp is unable to call on the likes of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota who are injured and Darwin Nunez missed the loss to Nottingham Forest on Saturday with a knock too. Add in the absences of Matip and Ibrahaim Konate and this could be a challenging night for the Reds.
Follow all the action as Liverpool take on Ajax in the Champions League:
Ajax vs Liverpool
Kick off is 8pm at Johan Cruyff ArenaLiverpool will reach knockout stages if they avoid defeatAjax XI: Pasveer; Sanchez, Timber, Blind, Bassey; Klassen, Alvarez, Berghuis; Bergwijn, Brobbey, TadicLiverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Eliott; Salah, Firmino, NunezShow latest update
Pre-match thoughts of Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp seemed quite excited for tonight’s clash with Ajax and explained what he was looking forward to in a press conference earlier this week.
“I am really looking forward to the game, I am really positive, it is Champions League, it is Ajax, big names, a big game and all these kind of things. It’s all good. We have enough players here so we will give it a proper try.” siad Klopp.
“Yes, it would be absolutely great [to qualify on Wednesday], but I cannot sit here and tell you I feel it already as if we would be halfway through.
“There is a game and 95 minutes in between – and if it happens then I can tell you it was really big and really important, but in this moment we just prepare for the game.”
Michael Jones26 October 2022 19:29
Liverpool ‘lead race for Dortmund forward Youssoufa Moukoko’
Liverpool are believed to be the frontrunners in the chase for Borussia Dortmund forward Youssoufa Moukoko.
The Daily Mail, via Spanish outlet Sport, says Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is enamoured with the 17-year-old, with the club tipped to beat European giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain to his signature once he becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
Michael Jones26 October 2022 19:24
Ajax vs Liverpool
The average age of Ajax’ starting XI against Liverpool tonight is 27 years and 295 days, their oldest line-up ever in a Champions League game.
Michael Jones26 October 2022 19:18
Ajax vs Liverpool
Liverpool have conceded only one goal in their last six games on Dutch soil – against PSV Eindhoven in December 2008.
Michael Jones26 October 2022 19:12
Van Dijk on facing Ajax
Virgil van Dijk was on press duties alongside manager Jurgen Klopp this week and he spoke about what he is expecting from tonight’s game.
“Ajax is a fantastic, fantastic club.” said the big centre-back, “Historically as well with the philosophy and the way they play and also the players.
“They don’t have also the best moment, but I know how it can be here on a Champions League night when things go well for them. That’s something we are prepared for.
“We have to match the intensity at least and do even more, so it will be interesting tomorrow. It will be nice and is something we should look forward to.
“ As I said, we shouldn’t forget ourselves how good we are, keep the confidence and try to be consistent again.”
Michael Jones26 October 2022 19:06
Virgil van Dijk vows to ‘show that we are Liverpool’ against Ajax
Virgil van Dijk has spoken of the desire to “show again that we are Liverpool” when the Reds face Ajax at Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday looking to bounce back from their shock loss to Nottingham Forest.
A mixed bag of a season for Jurgen Klopp’s men, in which disappointing away form has been a frequent feature, continued with a 1-0 reverse at promoted Forest on Saturday, six days on from the high of beating Manchester City by the same score at Anfield.
They head into Wednesday’s fixture in Amsterdam looking to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, which will be achieved if they avoid defeat.
Michael Jones26 October 2022 19:01
Klopp targeting Champions League qualification
Jurgen Klopp says it will be great if his side can secure a spot in the round of 16 by taking at least a point home from Ajax tonight.
“It would be absolutely great [to qualify for the last 16].” said the Liverpool manager,
“After our start in the group stage, it was not that people thought it was likely this would happen, but it happened. Now we have to try to close the group. That’s what we’re here for.”
Michael Jones26 October 2022 18:56
Ajax vs Liverpool team changes
Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder names an unchanged starting XI to the one that defeated RKC Waalwijk 4-1 in the Eredivisie last time out. It’s an attacking team that will be keen to take the game to Liverpool tonight.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp swaps out three players from the Liverpool team that lost 1-0 at the weekend in the Premier League. James Milner, Curtis Jones and Fabio Carvalho are out with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Darwin Nunez all brought back in.
Michael Jones26 October 2022 18:51
Ajax vs Liverpool line-ups
Ajax XI: Pasveer; Sanchez, Timber, Blind, Bassey; Klassen, Alvarez, Berghuis; Bergwijn, Brobbey, Tadic
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Eliott; Salah, Firmino, Nunez
Michael Jones26 October 2022 18:44
Jurgen Klopp faces a solution to Liverpool’s problems in the spiritual home of 4-3-3
Even the ground is named after the high priest of a footballing formation. When Liverpool visit Amsterdam on Wednesday, they will play in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, the title reflecting both the original and Dutch spelling of his surname and his vast influence. Cruyff is indelibly associated with the concept of total football and the shape of 4-3-3.
Cruyff’s legacy lives on. His disciple Pep Guardiola perhaps played his most Cruyffian version of 4-3-3 with Barcelona and, in the last two seasons, with Manchester City, when the use of a false nine brought the most rotation between players. Jurgen Klopp was a byword for 4-3-3, too, but not in the same way as Guardiola. The Catalan’s wingers are ordered to operate so wide that, at Barcelona, Thierry Henry was famously substituted for coming infield. The German’s wide men were so narrow that they were in effect channel runners, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane becoming so prolific in part because they were charged with operating between the opposition’s full-backs and centre-backs.
They could be strangers to the touchline and if one reason why Klopp’s 4-3-3 broke down this season may have been the tweak to use Salah wider, rendering him less prolific. But a change of system means that Klopp, who reinvented 4-3-3 by getting the full-backs to supply the width, may go to Amsterdam with plan B.
Michael Jones26 October 2022 18:40