Liverpool FC Team News at Ajax: Van Dijk, Thiago, Keita

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Liverpool travel to Amsterdam on Wednesday night to face Ajax in Champions League group stage play. The two storied clubs have combined to win 10 European Cups in their history, and won their respective league titles 53 combined times.

Despite all that history, the clubs have only met twice. In the 1966-67 season, Ajax defeated Liverpool 7-3 on aggregate in the Round of 16 of the European Cup. (For the Liverpool starting XI Prediction go here)

Virgil Van Dijk set for surgery

The biggest story line to come out of Saturday’s Merseyside Derby was the injury to Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutch centerback tore his ACL after a horrific challenge by Jordan Pickford that went unchecked by VAR.

Van Dijk, who had played more than 90-straight Premier League games, is set to undergo surgery this week after the swelling recedes completely in his knee. He will miss the rest of the season, but the full extent of his recovery won’t be known until after surgery to see the full extent of the damage.

The injury leaves Liverpool extremely short-handed in the back during this condensed time in the schedule. Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will be forced to carry most of the load, but Fabinho and Jordan Henderson may rotate in to the central defense as well.

Other Injury News

It wasn’t all bad on the injury front for Liverpool. Thiago also underwent scans after receiving a challenge from Richarlison, and the results showed no serious damage was done.

Jurgen Klopp described it as a “proper knock” and Thiago will be a late fitness test in Amsterdam. Naby Keita missed the Merseyside Derby due to coronavirus concerns, but has since tested negative and is now back training with Liverpool. He will be available Wednesday.

Longterm injury worries Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alisson are both recovering well. Alisson is expected to miss until mid-November, and Klopp said the team is being cautious with their No. 1.

“Ali looks very good,” Klopp told the team’s website. “We have to see; catching balls and stuff like this is all possible. But we cannot rush it and will not rush it.”

Betting Odds

At Bet365, Liverpool are -134 favorites to win on Wednesday. Ajax are receiving +333 for a win and there are +300 odds on a draw.

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