Liverpool and Ajax are set for a big Champions League clash at Anfield on Tuesday. The Reds desperately need three points to make up for their sound 4-1 defeat at the hands of Napoli in the opener. Veteran defender Joel Matip is calling for unity among the players while urging the team to put the last match behind them.
"You need to lead, you need to talk with each other, and need to help each other,” he said. "That's the only way. You cannot go as a person out of this, only as a team. For this (to work) you need to have teammates and you need to help your teammates.”
Liverpool will certainly have to come together and be at the top of their game when facing Ajax. The Dutch side is off to a perfect 6-0 start in the Eredivisie, while also winning their Champions League match over Rangers 4-0, giving them the top spot in Group A after the first match day.
Talking Points vs Ajax
Even though Liverpool needs three points to stay afloat in Group A, Jürgen Klopp is not focused only on the standings.
“That's not now the one thing to think about,” he said. “Thinking about the situation in the group, I don't think that's massively helpful. We know about it. (The standings) are clear.”
The challenge for Liverpool got tougher when the club announced that Andy Robertson would not be available due to an injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita are also unavailable, but the boss expects both players to return sometime in October. Fabio Carvalho will be available after missing the match vs Napoli.
Liverpool and Ajax have met four previous times on the pitch and the Reds have garnered a result in the last 3 matches, including a sweep in the 2020 Champions League. Ajax's only win in the series was a 5-1 win over Liverpool in the 1966 European Cup.
Bring the Battle to Ajax
Ajax is a mythological hero of the Trojan War known for his super-human strength. The football club that bears his name is off to a strong start on the pitch, as well. They are 6-0 in all competitions led by Dutch International Steven Bergwijn. The forward is no stranger to the EPL as he moved to Ajax from Tottenham in July. He has 6 goals in 6 matches so it is vital that the Reds keep him off of the scoresheet so they don't have to play from behind like they have for most of the season. Liverpool needs to start fast and prove to their home fans that Ajax is a beatable foe. Then all the pressure will be on the visitors from Amsterdam.
LFC Globe Verdict
Liverpool is going from the frying pan into the fire with this one. After a poor showing at Napoli, the Reds are desperate for a win to stay alive in the pursuit of a Champions League title and taking all three points from a 6-0 Ajax club will be no easy task. Klopp says he is not focused on the Group A standings at this point, but supporters and the media sure are. With injuries still plaguing the Reds and poor defending at times this season, I think Ajax is just too strong and they win the match 3-1.
Where to Watch
The match is set to kick off at 20:00 hours BST (15:00 EST in the United States) and can be seen on BT Sport 2. American audiences can steam the match on Paramount +.