Two of European most storeyed teams in this competition face off on Wednesday as Ajax play host to Liverpool at the Johan Cruyff Arena in their opening Group D game of the 2020/21 Champions League.
Despite reaching the semifinals of the Champions League two seasons ago, Ajax could not even get out of the group stage last season, finishing third behind both Valencia and Chelsea.
They’ve lost a good part of that team that went all the way to the semifinals as the top European clubs have grabbed the top cream of that talented squad the last two transfer seasons.
Despite that exodus, they’ve begun the current Dutch season well with 4 wins a loss in their opening five games to sit in second place on the log with 12 points, just one shy of bitter rivals PSV. They still have dangerous players up front like Dusan Tadic, David Neres and Quincy Promes who could ask a few questions of a rather shaky Liverpool defence.
Liverpool’s defence of their Champions League crown ended in disappointment in the round of 16 against a well-organised Atletico Madrid team. They made up for it though by winning their first Premier League title in thirty years in impressive style, 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
They began the season with wins over Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal before a shock 7-2 loss at Aston Villa jolted their season. They then drew 2-2 with cross-town rivals, Everton, in an action-packed Merseyside derby, although that result is secondary, with the devastating injury to Virgil van Dijk the main talking point from the game. The Liverpool skipper suffered a ruptured ACL following a horror tackle from Everton keeper Jordan Pickford and is likely to be out for the season.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his team can use this game to put that Merseyside experience behind them as they focus on the long season ahead.
Despite the loss of van Dijk, Liverpool have enough quality to pick up the win here. They showed that even in that Merseyside derby as they had the better of chances and thought they had won it in injury time, only for VAR to come to Everton’s rescue by ruling that Sadio Mane was offside in the buildup to that goal. Ajax are not the same team from two seasons ago, having lost the cream of that talent to the big boys. Although they have had a decent start to this season, they certainly haven’t faced any team of the calibre of Liverpool. We are backing Liverpool to get the win here @ 1.68 with Bet9ja as our first betting prediction.
This game has the hallmarks of an open contest and both teams will be trying to claim maximum points, with an impressive Atalanta outfit also in this pool. Ajax will certainly fancy their chances against a Liverpool defence that has been in shambles to start the season even prior to the loss of the linchpin van Dijk. Liverpool has been involved in a number of high scoring games this season and this could certainly be next of the list. We fancy Over 3.5 goals @ 1.82 with Bet9ja betting app as our final call here.
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