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Ajax vs Liverpool: Champions League match preview, lineups, quotes, form, injuries and how to watch
We preview Liverpool's Matchday 5 clash against Ajax in Group A of the Champions League as the Reds look to confirm qualification into the knockout stage.
When and where to watch Ajax vs Liverpool
Ajax vs Liverpool kicks off at 8pm on Wednesday 26 October.
You can catch all the action from Amsterdam exclusively live on BT Sport 2.
Ajax vs Liverpool match preview
Liverpool’s season looked to be getting back on track after successive Champions League wins over Rangers and a rousing Premier League victory over Man City.
But Saturday’s defeat to struggling Nottingham Forest is the latest step backwards in a stuttering season. They are in eighth, 12 points off leaders Arsenal and look a different proposition to the side that was targeting an unprecedented quadruple last season.
Manager Jurgen Klopp said he felt “as low as possible” after the shock result and he will be looking for a reaction against Ajax on Wednesday.
Their prospects look much better in Europe after their demolition of Rangers at Ibrox and they now only need a draw in Amsterdam to advance to the next stage.
The imperious display in Glasgow was an example of Liverpool’s ruthlessness in front of goal and ability to blow teams away when they play to their potential.
Klopp is managing a lengthy injury list and could be without Luis Diaz, Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Diogo Jota. Thiago suffered an ear infection hours before the trip to the City Ground on Saturday but could return at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
The six-time winners face an Ajax side who put up a spirited performance at Anfield in September. The Dutch side lost 4-2 against Napoli on Matchday 4 and have won their two league games since by an aggregate score of 11-2.
The likelihood is Ajax will finish third in one of the competition’s tougher groups, but they have proven they are capable of mixing it with the best under Alfred Schreuder.
Will Liverpool secure qualification when two of Europe’s most decorated clubs face off in Amsterdam? Or can Ajax compound their misery?
Ajax vs Liverpool predicted lineups
Ajax: (4-3-3): Pasveer; Sanchez, Timber, Blind, Bassey; Klaassen, Alvarez, Berghuis; Bergwijn, Brobbey, Tadic
Liverpool: (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Elliot; Carvalho, Salah, Firmino
Ajax vs Liverpool: Injuries and suspensions
Thiago missed out on the defeat to Nottingham Forest with an ear infection, but the hope among the Liverpool camp is that the influential midfielder will be fit for Ajax.
It is a similar story with Darwin Nunez who missed out on Saturday with a minor hamstring complaint. Again, the expectation is that he will be in the frame for Wednesday’s clash.
Ibrahima Konate could also be back, but Joel Matip, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota are longer term absentees.
For Ajax, midfielders Mohamed Ihattaren and Kenneth Taylor remain sidelined, but they have a relatively clean bill of health.
Form (last 6 matches)
Ajax – WWLWL
Liverpool – LWWWLW
Ajax vs Liverpool: Form guide
Liverpool slipped to a surprise defeat to Nottingham Forest after three straight wins to continue an inconsistent start to the season.
They looked to have found some rhythm after a win over Man City and successive victories against Rangers but defeat on Saturday means they remain without a Premier League away win this season.
Ajax, meanwhile, have won three and lost two of their last five matches with both defeats coming to a rampant Napoli side.
Their victories have all come in the Dutch Eredivisie, where they sit top of the table after 11 games.
Ajax vs Liverpool: Last time they met
Liverpool clinched their first Champions League win of the season with a dramatic 2-1 win over Ajax on Matchday 2, a week after a disastrous 4-1 away defeat at Napoli in their opener.
Joel Matip’s late header secured the three points after Mohammed Kudus’ excellent finish cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s first-half strike.
It was a compelling encounter, with both sides creating openings but Liverpool’s persistence ultimately paid off to get them up and running in the competition.
He said what?!
Klopp after Liverpool’s surprise defeat at Nottingham Forest:
“It feels as low as possible.
“It’s a big blow for us because we came here and wanted to get three points. In normal circumstances we should have won this this.
“We arrived with consistency, but we had six games with a limited squad playing three high intense games inside a week.
“That’s how it is, we cannot change that, and we have to fight through. Result-wise we should have showed consistency. We could have had it by finishing situations off.
Ajax vs Liverpool: Players to watch
Liverpool could hand starts to Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho in Amsterdam. Elliott has featured in every Champions League game this season and picked up his first goal in the competition against Rangers.
Carvalho has been used more sparingly but the Portuguese starlet has shown flashes of brilliance and could be one to watch against Ajax.
Mohammed Kudos has started all four Champions League games so far but has been on the bench for Ajax’s last two matches, with Brian Brobbey scoring four goals.
The 20-year-old Dutchman is in a rich vein of form and could be rewarded with a start against Liverpool.
Former Premier League players Davy Klaassen, Steven Bergwijn, Dusan Tadic and Daley Blind could all play a part.
Ajax vs Liverpool: Key stats
- Ajax have won just one of their last eight home European matches against English teams (D1 L6), with their solitary win coming against Manchester City in October 2012.
- Ajax have lost their last three UEFA Champions League matches against Liverpool. The Amsterdam side have only lost 4+ in a row against two teams in the European Cup/Champions League: four vs Juventus (1997 – 2004) and seven vs Real Madrid (2010 – 2019).
- A draw or win for Liverpool in this match will see them progress to this season’s UEFA Champions League knockout stage. It would mean they have progressed from their group in all six campaigns in the competition under Jürgen Klopp, and would be their outright longest ever run of consecutive such qualifications.
- Ajax have conceded four goals via headers in the UEFA Champions League this season; the most of any side through the first four matchdays. Overall, only Viktoria Plzen (16) and Rangers (16) have conceded more goals than the Dutch side (12) across their opening four games.
- This will be Liverpool’s 150th UEFA Champions League match, making them the 10th different club to reach that total, and fourth from England (also Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd). 62 of those 150 will have come under Jürgen Klopp, a joint-high in the competition for the Reds, moving the German level with Rafael Benítez.
- Liverpool’s Mo Salah has scored 41 goals in the UEFA Champions, three short of the most by an African player in the competition’s history (Didier Drogba, 44). The Egyptian has scored five goals in his last three Champions League games, and could score in four straight appearances in the competition for just a second time, only previously doing so in April 2021.