Ajax v Liverpool | CL group stage | Live fans match thread!

Well here we are gang, about to start our 2020/21 Champions League campaign. Can we go all the way to trophy number seven? With no colossus we will need to be lucky.

Straight out the blocks we know things are going to be vastly more difficult than during recent seasons. There's no sugar coating it, Virgil Van Dijk is not only our best defender but one of our very best players and his absence is a major setback.

It's hard to see how our defence will be as good without Van Dijk. It's hard to see how newly fielded together players will have the same defensive cohesion, and it's hard to believe we will have as much of an aerial threat from set pieces.

Add the loss of those pinpoint accurate long passes we're used to, as well as a general settling and commanding presence and we're not looking as good as normal.

The question however, is can we be good enough? My answer is yes, we can. And I'll explain how.

Bring back Mignolet Fabinho moves to centre back. He's very good at it and not just 'good for a stand in' but like the cakes, exceedingly good.

Now we have a gap to fill in midfield. No problemo - we happen to have signed a world class player in Thiago who can fill that defensive midfielder gap, exceedingly well and so too can Henderson. Then we have Milner and Na na na na Naby Keita. Plenty of high quality options.

In attack we're looking peachy. Salah is back with a boom, Mane is Mane and Firmino will sort himself out or be replaced by the in form Jota or Minamino.

In goal we are absolutely screwed. Let's not beat about the bush, Adrian is a disaster who cannot improve. That's my best shot at reverse psychology though so let's hope it somehow works.

Ajax are not without their own issues.

I'm not aware injury wise how they're doing but do know the last few seasons has seen them cherry picked of their best players.

Ziyech, Veltman and Van de Beek all moved to the Premier League this summer. Previous to that de Jong and de Ligt were snapped up by Barcelona and Juventus respectively.

What Ajax are left with is a youthful side lacking in experience. They will be well up for this match though and we will need whichever players we field to meet that intensity.

Some of the players mentioned above are doubts for the game, Thiago being the biggest but if available I think this is our best side.

I'll add Klopp's press conference later and that will give us a better idea who is fit enough to play. If Thigao isn't then I think Milner will get the nod.

Edit: Presser added and oops I forgot about Gini, think he'll play in midfield for sure.

Up front I would be tempted to start Jota in place of Firmino but think Klopp will start Firmino in the hope he'll play himself into form.

At the back I'm not sure how Fabinho and Matip will get on as they're both right footed but then again so are Gomez and Van Dijk. I favour Matip over Gomez as he seems in better form at present.

What do you think all? How confident are you and what line-up would you go with.

Liver Bird's scorecast for this one: we will do Virgil proud with a nice 0-4!


Prediction League

Will we keep a clean sheet? (5 points)
How many goals in total between both teams? (5 points)
Name our starting defence (before it's announced:) (5 points)
Get all three correct for a bonus 15 points!
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