The clash between Ajax and Liverpool highlights the second day of the Champions League Week 1 battles. These two teams have numerous European trophies in their collection, with the note that Liverpool performed better over the last two decades. Still, that isn’t important for Wednesday’s clash because the hosts want to win and open the competition in the best possible way. Meanwhile, the Reds have to face a new reality and appear without Virgil Van Dijk for the first time.
Ajax (+350) is not the team from two years ago, and we already stated that in our group preview. They’ve sold many players without bringing suitable replacements, which had to hurt the quality of their performances.
Still, the Lancers are doing ok in the Dutch league, and they posted four wins and one loss over the previous five rounds, but unlike last years, we didn’t see high efficiency constantly. Three games saw both teams not to score, and the same ended with over 2.5 scores.
The season is still early, and any long-term projections are not desirable at the moment. Yet, we can say without any hesitation that if Ajax doesn’t improve radically over the next month or two, they will have lots of troubles to reach the knockout stage.
Liverpool (-125) didn’t win in the last three games, suffering two losses and recording a draw. An elimination from EFL Cup against Arsenal is also counted as a loss even though the regulations ended without goals.
We bet that the Reds’ fans and Jurgen Klopp would accept to lose the next five games only to have Van Dijk healthy and available for future challenges. The Dutch center-back will be absent for the next few months, and that is the most devastating blow the Reds experienced in the last year or two.
Apart from that game against Arsenal, four in the last five saw both teams scoring and over 3.5 goals. In general, their style of play hasn’t changed at all, comparing it to the previous year or two. The offense is what Liverpool’s does the best, and they won’t change that approach. It is something in Jurgen Klopp’s DNA.
Ajax doesn’t have any injured or suspended players coming into this event and they are ready to face the rivals with full power.
The situation in Liverpool is different. Alisson, Van Dijk, and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out and injured. Alcantara, Naby Keita, and Matip stand as questionable.
Head to Head Matches
Even though these sides have a magnificent international history, they only met twice so far. That happened in the 1966/67 season, in the round of 16 of the European Cup. Ajax destroyed Liverpool in Amsterdam, 5-1, and the second leg finished with a draw, 2-2.
The odds on Reds to win are slightly going up, probably because of Van Dijk’s injury. Many are concerned whether Liverpool can cover his absence, but to be perfectly clear, they are too big of a challenge for Ajax even without their best defender. Feel free to bet on the Reds’ victory, and don’t hesitate to mix it with a high number of goals.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.