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Ajax vs Liverpool. UEFA Champions League Group D.

Amsterdam ArenA.

Ajax 0

    Liverpool 1

    • N Tagliafico (35th minute own goal)

    Ajax vs Liverpool preview, team news, kick-off

    Joel Matip expected to miss out as Liverpool play first game without Virgil van Dijk; Naby Keita could return; follow with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports' digital platforms and on Gillette Soccer Special live on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League

    Thiago Alcantara made his Liverpool debut at Chelsea on September 20
    Image: Thiago Alcantara is also set to be sidelined for Liverpool

    Team news and stats ahead of Ajax vs Liverpool in their opening Champions League group stage game on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm.

    Team news

    Liverpool's defensive options have been stretched further after Joel Matip did not train ahead of their Champions League opener against Ajax and is unlikely to travel.

    The Reds are already without centre-back Virgil Van Dijk, out for several months with an ACL injury which requires surgery, and losing Matip - who was spotted coming out of a Liverpool hospital at the weekend - is a further blow. It means Liverpool are likely to line up with Joe Gomez and midfielder Fabinho in central defence.

    Virgil van Dijk comes off due to an injury 2:19
    The Football Show's Sue Smith and Stephen Warnock assess Liverpool's options to replace Virgil van Dijk while he recovers from his ACL injury

    Thiago Alcantara, who injured a knee in a tackle which saw Everton's Richarlison sent off in Saturday's Merseyside derby, also did not train and is unlikely to play.

    But in a spot of good news, Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Monday that Naby Keita could feature after he resumed training following a negative Covid-19 result. The 25-year-old had tested positive for the virus while on international duty with Guinea.

    Liverpool defender Joel Matip was injured in the 2-2 draw at Everton
    Image: Liverpool defender Joel Matip was injured in the 2-2 draw at Everton

    In contrast, Ajax only injury worry ahead of the Group D opener. Forward Antony, who has scored three goals in five league matches, will miss the game with injury.

    One man Liverpool will be wary of is former Southampton forward Dusan Tadic, who has had a direct hand in 13 goals in 18 Champions League appearances - the most of any Ajax player since the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

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    How to follow

    Follow Ajax vs Liverpool with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports' digital platforms and on Gillette Soccer Special, live on Sky Sport News and Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm.

    Opta stats

    preview image 3:08
    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's draw with Liverpool in the Premier League
    • Ajax and Liverpool will meet for the first time since the 1966/67 European Cup, where the Dutch side eliminated the Reds with a 7-3 aggregate victory in the Last 16.
    • Since losing 1-5 against Ajax in December 1966, Liverpool have gone unbeaten in their 13 games against Dutch opponents in European competition (W8 D5).
    • Ajax have only won one of their previous six games against English opponents in European competition (D2 L3), going winless in the most recent three since a 1-0 victory against Spurs in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg in 2018/19.
    • This will be Liverpool's first away game against Dutch opposition since September 2010, when they drew 0-0 at FC Utrecht in the UEFA Europa League. The Reds are unbeaten in their last six away trips to face Dutch sides, keeping a clean sheet in four of those (W3 D3).
    • Ajax have won just one of their previous seven home games in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L4), with two of the last three defeats in this run coming against English opponents - 2-3 v Spurs in May 2019 and 0-1 v Chelsea in October 2019.
    • Liverpool have lost their last two games in the UEFA Champions League (both against Atlético Madrid last season), while they haven't suffered three consecutive defeats in the competition since October-November 2014, under Brendan Rodgers.
    • Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in 26 goals in 33 UEFA Champions League games for Liverpool (15 goals and 11 assists) - since his debut in the competition in 2017/18, the only other player to have scored 10+ goals and made 10+ assists in this period is Kylian Mbappé (13 goals, 13 assists).
    • Should he appear in this game, Klaas Jan Huntelaar (37y 71d) would become just the second player to feature for Ajax in the UEFA Champions League at the age of 37, following Danny Blind back in 1998.
    • Since making his UEFA Champions League debut for Liverpool in September 2017, Mohamed Salah has netted 19 goals in the competition for the Reds - the most of any player for an English club in this period.
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