So often on the right side of history on the continental stage, but Liverpool found themselves on the wrong side last time out, with a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Napoli in their Group A opener equalling their biggest ever UCL loss.
Now needing to play catchup if they’re to top their UCL group for a fourth consecutive season, manager Jürgen Klopp will be hoping the extended rest period will serve his injury-hit squad well after claiming his side need to improve in “pretty much everything.”
But not even a mini-crisis will silence Anfield on a European night, with the Reds needing the Kop in full voice to avoid beginning a UCL campaign with back-to-back defeats for the first time.
Ajax got their UCL campaign off to a flyer, scoring four unanswered goals against Rangers to win their seventh UCL group game in succession. The reigning Eredivisie champions are one of the hottest teams on the continent at the moment, despite losing some of their best players over the summer, winning their last five games without conceding, and scoring a mammoth 16 goals in the process.
That excellent form translates to their travels around Europe too, and they’ve only lost one of their last 16 away UCL matches, although that was a 1-0 defeat at Anfield in December 2020. Their one kryptonite lately has been their record against English sides, considering they’ve lost four of their last five UCL matches against PL opposition.
While Ajax was busy in the Dutch Eredivisie at the weekend, Liverpool and all the Premier League clubs had rest as all Premier League games were postponed in respect of the late Queen Elizabeth the second, and Spurs manager Antonio Conte was happy about the development as they travel to Portugal to face sporting Lisbon.
Antonio Conte slammed the schedule as “crazy” and “incredible” with the postponement of the most recent Premier League round, which should leave them physically fresh and may also ensure regular starters get plenty of minutes as they did in their 2-0 UCL home win over Marseille on the opening matchday.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu