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Champions League 2020-21 Preview: Liverpool vs AFC Ajax

After being held to a 1-1 draw by the hosts Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club in the Premier League, Liverpool Fc are set to play their Champions League Group D Fixture at home against the Dutch side AFC Ajax.

Date: 01 December 2020 (Tuesday) ; Time: 8:00 p.m (BST) kick-off ; Venue: Anfield, England.

Due to the Fixture Congestion and mounting injuries to Key Players, Jürgen Klopp was forced to line up the side with youngsters and benchwarmers for the Home Match against Atalanta BC.

The German Coach likes to keep his cards close to his chest but the decision to bench Mohamed Salah during the early part of the Second Half of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (The Seagulls) Away Fixture has given some clues of the possible team for the home clash against AFC Ajax.

Given the injury woes that the Reds are currently facing, Jürgen Klopp most likely will line up a similar team with the ones that played during the Atalanta BC Home Match. The Reds Youth Academy Players like Rhys Williams, Curtis Jones and Neco Williams will likely to feature in the match.

Also, Klopp in all likelihood might rest most of the players that featured in the Seagulls Away Fixture. So, perennial benchwarmers like Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and others might also feature or play some part in the AFC Ajax Home Match.

Moreover; Liverpool Fc (The Reds) simply cannot afford any slip ups against AFC Ajax as another Home Loss like Atalanta BC Home Match will further complicate their progression to the Champions League Round of 16 Stage.

The Last time these two Teams faced against each other, the Reds narrowly prevailed against the hosts AFC Ajax (0-1) in an unanticipated mundane Champions League 2020-21 Group D match. 

 

Reds Team Injuries and Suspensions: James Milner’s hamstring injury during the Away Fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club has piled on more on the Reds mounting injuries.

Naby Keïta remains sidelined and is recovering from his hamstring injury sustained during the Leicester City Fc home game.

Xheridan Shaqiri is ruled out for an indeterminate period as a result of the leg muscle injury sustained while on international duty with Switzerland.

Both Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk continue to be sidelined for an indeterminate period after undergoing successful surgeries on their injured knees.

The Reds did not set any timescale for the return of Van Dijk, Gomez, Keïta and Shaqiri.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is recovering from his hamstring injury and the young Englishman is due to return around the latter part of December 2020.

Thiago Alcântara injury continues to be an intrigue for everyone connected with the Reds. After sustaining his knee injury during the Everton Away Match, the Spaniard has been ruled out since then but there might be the likelihood that Thiago may not yet be fully fit in time.

After picking up an injury during the Preseason in Austria, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is edging closer to full fitness but is unlikely to play for the AFC Ajax Home Match.

 

Verdict: Klopp knows that he is fighting a losing battle in voicing his displeasure of the congested fixture and the need for TV Broadcasters to sit alongside with the Premier League Heads to work on a schedule that does not cause too much strain on the players.

All the Reds can do is hope for the Best by focusing on each game and prepare the worst. As the Reds are well aware, any teams can pull off an upset win on any given day. As such, the Reds will need to play their A-Game to beat the visitors AFC Ajax in order to secure their passage to the Champions League Round of 16 Stage.

 

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