Liverpool vs Ajax
Two games without a win is hardly a crisis, but for Liverpool it is certainly a rarity, and a situation which Reds fans would rather come to an end without delay.
But Jurgen Klopp’s side faces another tough test when AFC Ajax head to Anfield on Tuesday night. Liverpool can progress to the knockout phase of the Champions League with a victory over the Dutch champions, but Erik ten Hag brings a side in great form, with six wins on the bounce and full of goals, so the Reds will take nothing for granted.
As we stand Liverpool is in pole position in Group D, with nine points in the bag after four rounds, two ahead of both Ajax and Atalanta, and we’re looking forward to a high octane clash at Anfield with goals and no little tension.
Jurgen Klopp’s side lost 0-2 at home to Atalanta last week, and that effectively opened up the group after they had won their opening three European ties. And the Reds followed that up with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Premier League strugglers Brighton. Diogo Jota scored his fifth goal in eight league games in the south coast clash against the Seagulls, and it looked like the Reds were heading for three points until Andy Robertson was adjudged to have fouled Danny Welbeck in the penalty area deep into stoppage time.
Pascal Gross converted the spot-kick to square the match and Liverpool were left to rue a missed opportunity. But with only two shots on target throughout the game Klopp’s team lacked the conviction it showed throughout its march to the title last season. The club is suffering with injuries to key players, but the form of summer signing Jota has been sensational and he is the club’s leading scorer in the Champions League with four.
The latest Champions League 2020 betting odds make Liverpool third favourites to win the tournament at odds of 7.00, behind FC Bayern and Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues are already through to the knockout phase, alongside the German champions who have totally dominated Group A, but the Reds still have work to do and Tuesday night will determine whether or not they are still in good shape.
Ajax’ attacking threat
Ajax’ qualification hangs in the balance and, here at SBOTOP, we give them a 50-50 chance, at odds of 2.00, to emerge from Group D and advance to the knockout phase.
Erik ten Hag’s team has scored 18 goals in the last four league games, arriving at Anfield on the back of two 5-0 victories over Almelo and, on Saturday, away to Emmen, and it won’t have gone unnoticed in the Netherlands that Liverpool’s defence is unsettled.
Injuries to Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have really tested the Reds’ squad; the two centre backs were colossal throughout the league winning campaign and are a huge miss. Fabinho lined up alongside Nathaniel Phillips at the weekend and they were all too often exposed by the Brighton attack, which is rather less prolific than the Ajax unit. Former Southampton striker Dusan Tadic leads the front line and has already scored seven league goals this term, as has 19-year-old Lassina Traore. Midfield man Davy Klaassen has netted five times, while Brazilian winger Antony has weighed in with four goals and three assists.
Tadic has also bagged two Champions League goals and three assists; but this is clearly a team which attacks in numbers and Liverpool’s defence will face multiple threats.
Liverpool have won one and drawn one against their Dutch opponents, and will need to work hard to keep that run going. The Reds won a tight contest in Amsterdam 0-1 with help from Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico who put through his own net. But since then, Ajax have gone eight games unbeaten, winning the last six, and they are unbeaten in five games on the road.
When this round of Champions League 2020 results are in, Liverpool might well know their destiny, but an Ajax win or even a draw might well leave the group still in the balance.
|Liverpool vs Ajax||1X2 Draw @ 4.30|
|December 2, 04:00 (GMT+8)|
I think Liverpool’s unsettled defence could have a difficult night against an Ajax attack brimming with confidence, while at the other end of the pitch, with the likes of Jota and Mo Salah in their attack Reds fans will hope and expect another special European night.
At odds of 12.04, a long shot bet of a 2-2 draw might well be close to the mark.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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