Ajax vs. Liverpool Odds
|Ajax Odds||+370 [BET NOW]|
|Liverpool Odds||-148 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+310 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (-108/-115) [BET NOW]|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access | Unimás|
Clubs loaded with rich footballing histories battle in Champions League action Wednesday when Dutch side Ajax hosts Liverpool at Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.
When it comes to legendary European sides, you won’t find many with more storied histories than these two powerhouses. They have combined for 10 championships overall on this stage, with Liverpool holding a 6-4 edge in titles.
What makes this showdown even more interesting is the fact this is the first time they are meeting in 54 years, which clearly adds more glitz and glamour to this intriguing fixture.
Having said that, let’s take a look at this Group D meeting and what’s in store:
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Ajax is looking to regain the glory it enjoyed two seasons ago in this competition when it made a dream run to the semifinal round, only to be eliminated by Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
The club has seen players come and go since that magical tear, so it will be interesting to see how it fares this time around. Historically, Ajax has struggled mightily against English foes, notching just one win against them in its last seven home contests.
Ajax, which enters the contest on the heels of a 5-1 rout of Heerenveen, is led by Brazilian international Antony and Serbian forward Dušan Tadić. Both have three goals for a club sitting in second place in the Eredivisie.
Offensively, Ajax has racked up 11 goals and allowed just three for a +8 goal differential in the Dutch top flight. The club is currently tied for the most goals with first-place PSV Eindhoven.
Liverpool, the 2019 tournament champion, enters the match slightly off form and looking to regain that high level of play in its group-stage opener.
The Reds, who are currently in third place in the Premier League, are coming off a 2-2 draw against league-leading Everton over the weekend. That result was much more positive than Liverpool’s shocking 7-2 defeat against lowly Aston Villa before the international break.
Mo Salah has been his brilliant self for the Reds, racking up six goals thus far. Offensively, the Reds have little to worry about. It’s the defensive side of the pitch that might have manager Jurgen Klopp slightly concerned after he lost star Virgil van Dijk to an ACL injury in the Everton tie.
Expect Klopp to turn to the back line of Fabinho, Andrew Robertson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the hope the quartet can keep Ajax’s feisty youngsters at bay during this interesting contest.
As for the data and statistics, Liverpool sits on 12.9 expected goals and 8.0 expected goals against, resulting in a +4.9 xGDiff and +0.97 xGDiff/90 minutes in England’s top flight. The Reds’ xG, xGDiff and xGDiff/90 are tops among all clubs in the league.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Losing Van Dijk the rest of the season is massive and can’t be spun any other way in my opinion. The Reds are deep enough in the back, so I firmly expect them to keep it together barring any other injury setbacks.
That said, I truly expect Liverpool to lock things down in its defensive third and keep the high-flying Ajax offense at bay. With that said, I am backing Liverpool to pick up all three points in the Netherlands.
The Reds want to send a message to the rest of the Champions League clubs that they’re still one of the teams to beat, regardless of who is on the pitch.
I am also playing the total to stay under the number. I don’t think this Ajax side is as loaded up top as its predecessor, which has me believing it will have issues breaking down Liverpool’s defense sans Van Dijk.
The fact Liverpool’s last four Champions League matches have stayed under 2.5 goals has me liking this play even more. Play both with confidence.
Picks: Liverpool ML (-143); Total Under 3.5 Goals (-115)