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Updated: 16 min 48 sec ago

Inside Anfield: Liverpool 1-0 Ajax

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 18:15

Take a different look at the win that sealed Liverpool's spot in the last 16 of the Champions League with Inside Anfield.

The Reds overcame AFC Ajax 1-0 on Tuesday night and have secured their place in the first knockout round with a match to spare.

Curtis Jones got the goal while Caoimhin Kelleher made several superb saves during an impressive European debut.

Watch how the evening unfolded from a fresh point of view above. Simply register for free if you have not already done so.

App users should tap here to watch.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Highlights: Liverpool U18s 4-1 Burnley

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 17:55

Highlights of Liverpool U18s' 4-1 win over Burnley at the Academy on Tuesday night are now available to watch on LFCTV GO.

The victory took Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's side top of the U18s Premier League North.

Oakley Cannonier fired the opening goal before Billy Koumetio made it 2-0 with a header from a corner.

Superb pressing from James Balagizi paved the way for Mateusz Musialowski to grab the third goal.

U16 forward Ethan Ennis made it 4-0 following a brilliant cross from Sean Wilson before Burnley pulled a late consolation goal back.

Click play above to watch highlights of the game via LFCTV GO.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC community programme update

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:13

In line with the national lockdown changes from today and Liverpool City Region's Tier 2 status, LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams are resuming their local community delivery programmes.

All face-to-face sessions will continue to implement a strict protocol of precautions in line with government guidelines, including face coverings, sanitation stations and limiting the number of places on our sessions to ensure social distancing is observed.

Please visit www.liverpoolfc.com/foundation to find out more about our weekly sessions and to secure your place.

The safety of our participants, their families and staff team is paramount and we will continue to support our communities during this difficult time. The LFC safeguarding website also provides information on a number of additional support services available: www.liverpoolfc.com/fans/safeguarding.

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Liverpool v Wolves: Ticket sales information

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:45

Liverpool FC has released the following information about ticket sales for the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on Sunday December 6.

Tickets are only available to supporters who were successful in the ballot.

Tickets can be purchased online from 3pm GMT on Wednesday December 2 until 8am on Thursday December 3. 

If you are a disabled supporter and require assistance, please contact the disability team on 0151 264 2500, option 1.

Tickets for this sale are guaranteed and supporters can purchase one ticket per qualifying supporter up to a maximum of four per transaction. Please be aware that you may have to queue at times.

General admission seating for this match will be in the Main Stand and Kop. Wheelchair bays and personal assistant seats will be in the Main Stand only.

In line with social distancing measures, all seats will be available to purchase as single seats only to minimise the risk to public health and fellow supporters. 

Please ensure that when you select your seats, you choose the seats as near as possible to each other.

Ticket prices

Adult - £44.92
Young Adult - £22.46
Over 65 - £33.69
Junior - £8.80
Adult Disabled - £33.69
Young Adult Disabled - £16.84
Over 65 Disabled - £25.27
Junior Disabled - £6.71

If tickets remain, they will be made available to supporters on the waiting list.

Disabled supporters will be contacted directly.

Further sales information and waiting list positions will be advertised here from 11am on Thursday December 3.

Stadium access

Once you have completed your purchase, your NFC pass will be available to download to your smartphone from the Tickets section within your My Account.  

Further information will be included on your ticket purchase confirmation email. 

All supporters must use their smartphone to enter the stadium as season ticket and Member cards will not be activated.  

Tickets are non-transferrable, and each supporter attending must download their own individual NFC pass. 

Supporters will be asked to bring photographic ID with them for checks at the turnstiles before entry. We will not allow entry if proof of ID is not provided.

General information 

Supporters will also be required to complete a health declaration form within 24 hours of kick-off.  

Further information will be available in your ticket purchase confirmation email. Failure to complete the form may result in you being refused entry to the stadium.

Before purchasing a ticket, you must refer to the Supporter Code of Conduct to ensure you comply with the new rules and guidelines that will be in place to make Anfield as safe as possible for everybody present.

For more information on the return of fans to stadiums, please visit our new dedicated website hub which provides further guidance on this process. 

If you have any further queries, please visit our FAQs or contact our Ticketing Services team.

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Jordan Henderson on Ajax win, character, Curtis Jones and more

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 08:31

Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool yet again displayed their true character in Tuesday night's win over AFC Ajax in the Champions League.

The Reds clinched top spot in Group D to secure their place in the last 16 with a game to spare thanks to Curtis Jones' second-half finish at Anfield. 

They did so during an incredibly busy run and with an extensive injury list, which Alisson Becker joined due to a hamstring complaint ahead of the tie. 

After overcoming those hurdles, Henderson was left delighted with the application and determination displayed by Jürgen Klopp's side against the Eredivisie outfit.

Watch: Liverpool 1-0 Ajax - extended highlights

He told Liverpoolfc.com post-match: "A very big win, important. I thought the lads were excellent. 

"We knew it would be a tough game and there's things we can be better in and, of course, we probably could have scored two or more goals, especially in the second half. 

"But I'm really delighted with the performance and the character of the team with the setback of injuries that we've had of late. 

"But to keep fighting and to get the three points and win the group is massive for us, so I'm delighted with that."

On the team's ability to come through adversity, the captain commented: "We've been like that for a long time and it's just about building on that and keep it going. 

"No matter what 11 or 14, 15 or whatever it is that manages to play in the game, they give absolutely everything.

"We've got some fantastic players, especially the young players tonight who again showed the quality to get us the three points. 

"Overall, I'm really pleased with the performance. I know it's not our best performance but I feel as though it was a real battle and everybody gave everything right up to the 90th minute and you get your rewards, you get your three points. So that's why I'm really pleased with it."

Job done. Into the knockouts. Massive credit to the young lads in the side tonight. Some big performances! https://t.co/uYmSsL4rbD

— JHenderson (Jordan Henderson) 1st Dec 22:35

Two of the club's Academy products combined to produce the game's winner, with Jones neatly converting Neco Williams' cross at the back post with 58 minutes on the clock. 

Another helped preserve the clean sheet for Liverpool as goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher expertly thwarted Ajax multiple times on his Champions League debut.

"Unbelievable, isn't he? Outstanding, some of the saves he made, important saves," Henderson said of the Irish stopper. "His distribution was excellent, coming out and commanding his area. I thought he was outstanding and a real plus for us.

"I'm delighted for Curt because he's worked really hard. He listens, he wants to learn all the time and I think over the last few weeks you've seen the maturity in his play and he's been outstanding. He deserved his goal. 

"A great ball from Neco – I thought he overhit it, so I might have given him a bit of stick when he hit it! But it was a fantastic ball in the end. So I'm delighted for both of them."

Liverpool's focus now returns to Premier League matters, with Wolverhampton Wanderers arriving at Anfield on Sunday evening. 

Henderson concluded: "That's a big gap for us, not a small one! We've got to use that the best we can, recover and get ready for a tough game because Wolves are a good side. 

"They got a big win the other day against Arsenal, so they'll be right up for it. It's another tough game for us but we'll recover and get ready for that one."

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Liverpool 0-0 Ajax: Live commentary and updates

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 19:34

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Visit our Match Centre for the best live and interactive build-up, in-game updates and post-match coverage as Liverpool host AFC Ajax in the Champions League.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp's Alisson Becker fitness update

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 19:16

Jürgen Klopp has provided an update on the fitness issue that ruled Alisson Becker out of tonight's Champions League clash with AFC Ajax.

The Brazilian goalkeeper is sidelined due to a hamstring injury, meaning Caoimhin Kelleher makes his European debut for the Reds. 

Speaking to BT Sport pre-match, Klopp also admitted Alisson was likely to miss the weekend's Premier League match with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The boss said: "So it's not COVID, I think it's something we have to mention when it's not the case – and it's not the case. 

“He told us after the game that he felt in the 60, 70th minute of the last game his hamstring. [We] did a scan, it's a little one but enough for today and probably for another week. 

“We don't know exactly, we have to wait and I've never heard about a hamstring is only four or five days, so 10 to 14 days I think. 

“Then we had to make the decision: Queev or Adrian. And Queev, I know him pretty much five years, four years for sure – I'm not sure when he came to the first team, training with us and stuff like this.

“He's just improving and improving and improving and he's a football-playing goalie, good shot-stopper, which is obviously the most important thing. My job is to make decisions and I did that.”

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Team news: Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Ajax

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 18:38

Caoimhin Kelleher starts for Liverpool in tonight’s Champions League fixture with AFC Ajax at Anfield.

With Alisson Becker missing out as a precaution due to a tight leg muscle, the 22-year-old goalkeeper is handed his first European appearance for the Reds between the posts.

Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson returns in midfield, while Joel Matip is back in defence.

Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones are also restored to the XI as Jürgen Klopp makes five changes from the draw at Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend.

Liverpool: Kelleher, N. Williams, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones, Mane, Salah, Jota.

Subs: Adrian, Jaros, Firmino, Minamino, Tsimikas, Origi, R. Williams, Cain, Clarkson.

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Vote now: Liverpool's Goal of the Month in November

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 12:00

There were some sublime strikes across the club in November and now you can choose Liverpool's Goal of the Month.

We have compiled a shortlist of 10 efforts by the first team, Women and Academy - which can be watched in the video above.

But the winner is decided by you. Cast a vote below and stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com to see who comes out on top.

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'We'll be raring to go come 8pm' - Andy Robertson previews Ajax tie

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 10:10

The prospect of securing a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare leaves Andy Robertson and Liverpool determined to seize such a rare opportunity.

The Reds head into the Group D encounter with AFC Ajax tonight aware avoiding defeat would confirm their place in the knockout rounds of the competition. 

It means a draw against the Eredivisie outfit will be good enough for Jürgen Klopp's side, though that information won't be on their minds when they take to the field. 

Read on as Liverpoolfc.com caught up with Robertson ahead of the 8pm GMT kick-off...

Andy, the start of another intense week for Liverpool – two home games, starting with Ajax…

It's relentless just now, we've got games thick and fast but we look forward to the games – especially here, there is no better place to play. So a really tough test on Tuesday against Ajax. We know what's at stake, we know if we win we are into the last 16, which would be a really big step for us and that is our main focus just now. We have enough time in the week to look ahead to Wolves, but Ajax are full of confidence just now and they have picked up some really good results since we last played them and they will come here with confidence. But it's up to us to be at our best and we believe if we are then hopefully that will be good enough to get us the three points.

Even a draw would be good enough to send you through, but the mentality of this team is always to try to win the game, isn't it?

We've never done that and we've always gone into games looking for wins. I don't think we'd know how to set up for a draw and not many teams play just for a 0-0. So, every team goes out there and tries to win and we are definitely no different, Ajax will be no different. So we'll go out there and we'll give it our all, give 100 per cent. It's been another quick turnaround but we'll be raring to go come 8pm on Tuesday night and hopefully we can get it done and be in the last 16 with a game to spare, which we've not done since I've been here and it's always been down to the last game. So it would be nice to change that and hopefully be comfortably into the last 16.

That game in the Netherlands, even though you won it 1-0, it was such a crazy, open game with so many chances at either end of the field…

It feels a long time ago with the number of games we've played since then, but it was an incredible game, a lot of chances. They had a couple of big ones and we had quite a few big ones and I can't believe it only finished 1-0, to be honest with you! But we were delighted with that and that was a great way to start off the campaign. So it's a good moment for us to go and try to finish the group, try to finish top and get qualified. Whether it will be a similar game or not, only time will tell, but we'll prepare for all outcomes and situations. And if we turn up at our best, I believe we can be good enough to win this game.

How intense is it this year, given the group stages are very different to how it's been before and you are playing every week?

Obviously in normal times before COVID, the Champions League was played every two to three weeks and you kind of got a breather in between, but it's every single week this season and it's constant and quite quick, of course. I can't believe we are talking about being nearly in the last 16 already as it feels like it was only two to three weeks ago we just started it! Look, we've got a tough group and a group full of quality. We've seen that from all of the teams and if we can get the win and seal our last-16 place then it will be massive for us because it's no secret: we want to go all the way in this tournament and we want to go far in it again. But the first step is to get through the group and we can make that step on Tuesday night and that's what's going to be in the forefront of our minds.

Watch: Jürgen Klopp's pre-Ajax press conference

Of course, this will be your final home game fully behind closed doors before you can get some fans back at Anfield, which will be amazing...

Of course. We've missed the fans in here. Since COVID, we've made so many memories in here, like the Crystal Palace game, the Chelsea game and even good games this season, like 4-3 against Leeds United. But you just wish that Anfield was full. I know on Sunday it's not going to be full, but it will be great to just have 2,000 back in. Just to have people who are here to watch you and are as excited as you are to play and everything that goes along with it. So I'm really looking forward to it and I hope it's the first positive step towards getting this place full again and hopefully it's not long until we have everyone back in because we've certainly missed them and football is not the same without fans, so I really hope we can have a full Anfield soon. But Sunday is a definite start and I look forward to welcoming in the lucky 2,000 into Anfield.

The injuries in the backline have seen a lot of youngsters come in and get opportunities, like Neco Williams…

Neco is a great lad and a great player. With Trent's injury and things like that, he has been thrown in and Neco and all the young lads have stepped up and need to step up further. We are pushing Neco, we are pushing Curtis and we are pushing Nat, Rhys and all of them. The young lads – it's been clear – we will be needing them this season. It's clear that with the injuries that we've got and the hectic schedule we've got, the whole squad is going to be needed. They are a big part of the squad. Neco, Curtis, Rhys, Nat, we are trying to push them all the way and get them to improve every day and they are making huge strides. 

I think Neco has come in for unfair criticism but, look, unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. It's going to happen when you do make one mistake or whatever it is. But Neco is a confident lad and the way he has played for Wales in the previous international breaks has been unbelievable and he shows promise and he shows glimpses of it. It's just about him getting that complete performance. I believe it's coming and I believe it's close because he's full of quality and he's full of passion. You can see that the way he flies into tackles and stuff. He's a great player with great quality and through Trent's injury he's got quite a few opportunities and he's done well. He knows he can do better and that's why we will try to push him and he'll try to push himself. All the young lads are the same. They've got a lot of improvements to make but where they are at the moment is a real good place and that's why all of them are heavily involved in our squad right now.

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Jordan Henderson: We've got a platform, now let's build on it

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 09:05

Jordan Henderson wants Liverpool to replicate last season by building on a solid foundation throughout the winter months.

The Reds have arrived in December well placed both domestically and in Europe after navigating their way through a condensed autumn schedule despite suffering numerous injuries. 

And Henderson has urged Jürgen Klopp’s squad to push on in a similar manner to 12 months ago, when they successfully juggled commitments in the Premier League, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

In his notes for tonight’s official matchday programme, the captain writes: “Now that we have given ourselves a platform, we have to build on it. At this stage of last season we were in a similar position and we went on to make it count. That’s the challenge again this time around.

“It’s one thing having a decent autumn, but only if you push on through winter - when the games come thicker and faster than ever - do you have a chance of making the most of spring. 

“A lot has been said about the schedule and, without wanting to reopen the debate, it’s fair to say that this season’s is tougher than ever. But it is what it is and our job as players is to try to clear every obstacle that is placed in our way.  

“No-one is going to do us any favours and we’re not looking for any, so the best thing that we can do is stick to our mantra of taking one game at a time and being as competitive as we can be no matter who our opponents might be. 

“That won’t be easy tonight. Ajax are a top side and with their history and heritage they will relish coming to Anfield, especially with there being so much still to play for in a group that is every bit as tough as I’d expected it to be.  

“People will look at the fact that we won in Amsterdam and make us favourites but, as Atalanta showed last week, football is rarely that straightforward. I know from my own experience at Liverpool that whenever we lose a game we want to put that right by showing what we’re capable of. I have no doubt whatsoever that Ajax will approach this game with exactly the same mindset. 

“There’s a banner that gets displayed on the Kop sometimes and I love it because of its simplicity. It just says ‘Liverpool FC: European Royalty’ and is one of many things that makes me incredibly proud to captain this club.  

“One of the reasons for that pride is because that statement puts us alongside clubs like Ajax who have made such a contribution to football in Europe over the years. They have our admiration and our respect and I hope that tonight’s game lives up to the best standards of both clubs.”

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Pre-Ajax stats: Permutations, December form and Dutch opposition

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:35

Liverpool require a point from tonight's clash with AFC Ajax to guarantee a place in the Champions League knockout stages.

With four matchdays completed in Group D, the Reds lead the section by two points, with Ajax and Atalanta BC tied on seven and FC Midtjylland now eliminated.

Avoid defeat at Anfield this evening and Jürgen Klopp’s men will secure their spot in the last 16 for a fourth successive season, with a draw enough due to their head-to-head record against Ajax and Atalanta.

For more pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea, read on…

Liverpool’s next goal at Anfield in the Champions League will be their 50th under Klopp. Mohamed Salah has scored the most of those so far with 13.

The Reds have never lost to Dutch opposition at Anfield, winning five and drawing two in seven encounters. They played out a 2-2 with Ajax in 1966.

Overall, the club is unbeaten in the last 14 matches against Dutch opponents, since the 5-1 defeat by tonight’s visitors in Amsterdam in 1966.

Klopp has won all three of his previous meetings with Ajax – the first two while in charge of Borussia Dortmund.

Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-Ajax press conference

Liverpool have lost just one of their last 30 games played during the month of December, with the single defeat at Aston Villa in last season’s Carabao Cup quarter-final.

A victory this evening would be the Reds’ fourth in the group and equal their best ever tally.

Diogo Jota scored two hat-tricks in Europe for Wolverhampton Wanderers last season and has one for Liverpool during this group phase.

The last Reds player to score two European hat-tricks in the same season was Dean Saunders in the UEFA Cup in 1991-92. The last to achieve the feat in the European Cup was Graeme Souness in 1980-81.

Ajax are unbeaten in their last 17 away games in all stages of this competition, winning eight, and have scored at least twice in eight of their last nine away Champions League ties.

They are the only team ever to score more than four goals against Liverpool in a European fixture. In 1966 they were 4-0 up at half-time and 5-0 up in the 90th minute before winning 5-1.

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'I have a heart in both clubs' - Jari Litmanen on Liverpool v Ajax

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:30

While Liverpool and AFC Ajax fans will be biting fingernails and poring over permutations when the two clubs meet in a crucial Champions League tie tonight, Jari Litmanen can sit back safe in the knowledge he won’t lose.

One of a curiously small group of players to have represented both teams, the Finn has supported the Reds since being mesmerised by the likes of Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish as a child in the 1970s and, of course, enjoyed an 18-month spell at Anfield himself two decades ago.

His career highs came in the colours of the famous Dutch side, however.

Litmanen played in two European Cup finals with Ajax, helping the Amsterdam outfit lift the trophy with a 1-0 defeat of AC Milan in 1995 and then scoring in the final as they were beaten by Juventus on penalties a year later.

Litmanen lifts the European Cup with Ajax in 1995

Across two spells at Ajax, the graceful forward racked up 133 goals to establish an enduring legacy at a club not short of revered figures – especially in the attacking department.

With a foot therefore in both camps, the 49-year-old intends to watch this evening’s contest with the same relaxed enthusiasm he has felt as the Reds and Ajax returned to the top echelons of the European game in recent seasons.

“I grew up with Liverpool and I was a fan of the club,” Litmanen told Liverpoolfc.com. “I became an Ajax fan in ’92 when I joined the club, and I started to know the people and the tradition and the culture.

“I joined in ’92 a team that had just won the UEFA Cup and three years later we won a Champions League. A year later we lost the Champions League final. It felt like it’s quite normal over there. Now people have realised that 25 years ago was the last time to be in the final – actually the final in ’96 but victory in the final was ’95. It feels now, for me but all other people, that was something special. At that time it felt quite normal.

“Of course, I have a heart in both clubs for different reasons. I grew up with Liverpool and I played my best years at Ajax. So, I follow them both and I’m happy for both clubs at the moment how it goes.

“Liverpool were the [Premier League] champions last year, the first time in 30 years – we have waited quite a long time for that! And a year earlier, the Champions League final in Madrid – and by the way, I was there as well – was of course something special.

“Two years ago, Ajax did very well in the Champions League. It was really, really close that Ajax were also in the final, it was only a matter of some minutes. That was a really special year. Last year, they did good as well but in the last game they needed a draw and they didn’t get it, so they didn’t go through to the knockouts.

“I’m happy for Ajax, I’m happy for Liverpool how it goes at the moment.”

Group D is delicately poised ahead of what is only the fourth competitive clash between the Reds and De Godenzonen despite their rich European histories.

Liverpool’s home defeat by Atalanta BC last Wednesday meant a bunching of the top three in the section, though they nevertheless know a draw or win tonight will book a place in the last 16.

If Jürgen Klopp’s charges can clinch qualification, it would represent a fourth successive appearance in the tournament’s knockout stages for the 2019 winners.

Litmanen is a long-time admirer of Klopp’s philosophy, having observed his methods since the German’s time at the helm of Borussia Dortmund, and has been delighted to see his approach pay off at Anfield too.

“I followed him already when he was in Germany at Borussia Dortmund. Actually, he has been really, really good at both of those clubs,” said the man who netted nine goals in 43 games for the club.

“He has changed a lot. Dortmund had their own problems in a financial way and also in a football way, they were not the Dortmund we were used to. Dortmund couldn’t compete with Bayern Munich but with Klopp, for several years they were even a couple of times the champions of Germany. With Klopp, Dortmund became a big club and a big team again in Germany.

“Actually, that last step happened also with Liverpool. Liverpool had all the time a good team and good players but Klopp did that last step. When I heard that Klopp was going to Liverpool I was quite confident he would do a good job, just based on what I saw and what I followed at Dortmund.

“He has given some energy to the team and the players. He likes them to be active all the time and that happened at Dortmund and that has happened at Liverpool. I like that kind of football, where the whole team, all the players, want to be active and try to have control of a game. There is something happening all the time and that’s what I love.”

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have become the club’s joint-second, fifth and joint-sixth most prolific scorers in European competition respectively during Klopp’s tenure.

Litmanen appreciates the individual talents of each of the three attackers as well as their ability to combine forces, which has been integral to his former team’s recent trophy haul.

“Salah, Mane and Firmino, it’s really nice to look at them playing,” he said. “They all can pass the ball, they all can hold the ball, they all have enough speed to run forward. It looks like they love to play together with each other.

“They are a little bit different kind of players. Firmino is really important for Mane and Salah by holding the ball, giving the pass and even creating some spaces for those wing players because those wing players are really quick without the ball and with the ball.

“So, it’s really difficult to defend against those three guys because they are doing a little bit different things, but they seem to love to play together.”

Liverpool’s narrow 1-0 victory in Amsterdam back on matchday one aided the early command Klopp’s men established in Group D with three wins in a row.

Liverpool celebrate the own goal that gave them victory at Ajax on matchday one

But Ajax journey to Merseyside having won seven and drawn one of their eight fixtures in all competitions since that night – a run including a 13-0 result in the Eredivisie.

Whatever happens, events at Anfield this evening will significantly affect the complexion of the section and what will be required when the final round of ties are played next week.

Personally, Litmanen views the encounter through the prism of his wish for both of his old sides to qualify for the last 16, given his shared allegiance.

“Of course, it’s an important game for both,” he assessed. “Liverpool have nine points now after losing to Atalanta last time and are No.1 in the group. With winning they are sure of going through as No.1 or No.2.

“For Ajax, it’s of course even more important because now they are equal on points with Atalanta. Two games to go, Ajax are playing away against Liverpool and at home against Atalanta.

“I think a draw would be ideal for both [to have the chance to progress]. If you win, it’s great. But if you have a draw, that’s ideal. Both teams don’t want to lose that game.

“Even by losing, Liverpool still have a chance with their game in hand. But a draw would still be good for both. Neither Liverpool or Ajax want to lose this game.”

Read the second part of our exclusive interview with Jari Litmanen on Liverpoolfc.com on Thursday, as he reflects on his love for the Reds and his time at Anfield.

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Liverpool to face Aston Villa in FA Cup third round

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 19:25

Liverpool will face Aston Villa away from home in the FA Cup third round.

The Reds were paired with the Midlands club during Monday evening’s draw for the next stage, with ties scheduled to be played across the weekend of January 9/10, 2021.

Full fixture details will be announced on Liverpoolfc.com in due course.

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Liverpool v Ajax: Team news

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 19:00

Jürgen Klopp does not expect any of Liverpool’s injury absentees to be ready to face AFC Ajax on Tuesday.

The Reds will host the Dutch club at Anfield and the boss offered an update on the condition of his squad ahead of the Champions League contest.

After stating that Thiago Alcantara remains ‘a few weeks’ away from a return, Klopp was asked for the latest on Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-Ajax press conference

“They are all getting closer to being back, [but] not close enough for tomorrow, I think,” he said on Monday. “With Naby we have to check there still, but with the other two, they will not be ready.

“Trent looks quite good, but nobody gave me the green light for tonight so he will not be in it [training]. He hasn’t trained with the team and stuff like this.

“I saw him today on the pitch doing his rehab stuff outside, so that looks already good, but I cannot decide when this rehab stuff is finished. I take the players only in the moment when I get the green light and that didn't happen yet.

“But from my rather experienced eye, from what I saw today, it will not be that long anymore with Trent.”

Jordan Henderson came through his 45-minute run-out against Brighton & Hove Albion unscathed, but James Milner is sidelined due to the hamstring issue he sustained at the Amex Stadium.

Furthermore, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is continuing his recovery from a knee injury.

Ajax, meanwhile, named a 21-man squad for trip to Merseyside and included Daley Blind, Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch.

Blind missed the weekend's 5-0 win over FC Emmen, while Mazraoui and Gravenberch were forced off in the second half with minor issues.

Attacking midfielder Mohammed Kudus remains sidelined with the knee injury he sustained in October's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.

During his pre-match press conference, boss Erik ten Hag said: "We'll have some more training but, as it looks, they look to be in good fitness. 

"We have in-shape guys with us. Everybody is on board. We'll have training in a minute and then draw our own conclusions."

Last match

Brighton 1-1 Liverpool (November 28): Alisson, N Williams, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Minamino, Salah, Jota, Firmino.

Emmen 0-5 Ajax (November 28): Onana, Mazraoui, Schuurs, Martinez, Klaiber, Labyad, Gravenberch, Klaassen, Antony, Tadic, Traore.

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Photo gallery: Reds prepare for Ajax showdown at AXA Training Centre

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 18:18

Check in on Liverpool's preparations for their Champions League encounter against AFC Ajax with our photo gallery from Monday afternoon's training session.

The Reds performed a workout at the AXA Training Centre under the watchful eye of Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff ahead of the Group D meeting with the Eredivisie side.

Take a look at our collection of images from it below... 

Photos by Andrew Powell

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Andy Robertson on last-16 target and facing a European giant

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 15:23

Andy Robertson wants Liverpool to seize the opportunity of reaching the Champions League last 16 when they host AFC Ajax on Tuesday night.

The Reds head into their fifth game of Group D knowing a draw or win against the Eredivisie side will guarantee progress to the knockout rounds for a fourth consecutive season.

They’ll have to overcome a team Robertson described as a ‘European giant’ to do so, but the reward for a positive result provides ample motivation to rise to the challenge.

Asked at the pre-match press conference about how similar Champions League fixtures have become to top-flight football, the left-back said: “Ajax are a quality opposition.

“We have a lot of foreign players in the Premier League now, you become more accustomed to playing against these types of players. The difference between them both isn’t as big as it maybe once was.

“But, of course, it’s a different style of play. They play in a different league and everything that goes along with it, you don’t know their players inside out as much as you do the Premier League teams.

“But we’re playing one of the European giants tomorrow night – their history is phenomenal and their team just now is an excellent team. We know we’re in for a tough task tomorrow night but we know what’s at stake.

“We know if we win we’ll be through to the last 16 and that’s always the aim. We want to go far in this competition and by doing so, we need to get through the group stage first and foremost.

“We’ve got a chance to do that tomorrow night. It’s important we try to keep that in our minds and do everything we can to win this game and hopefully finish top of the group.”

Liverpool must once again tackle a tight turnaround, with Ajax’s visit coming three days on from the 1-1 league draw at Brighton & Hove Albion and within a week of their previous Champions League outing.

Asked about the fixture schedule this season and whether the players require more help, Robertson replied: “The schedule is hectic, there’s no secret of that, because of COVID and we had to kind of make up time and stuff.

“But the schedule is always going to be hectic, we knew that, and the schedule can’t change because we need to get all these games in, in all the different competitions. We get our heads around that but I just think maybe we could get a little bit more help from it.

“My manager has been probably the most vocal on it, but I know a lot of managers are maybe crying out for five substitutions or different things that can maybe help. I know up in Scotland they’ve got five substitutions just now and I know, by speaking to their boys, it makes a massive difference, because their schedule is also hectic.

“I just believe we should be trying to help the players. I don’t know the exact percentage or the exact number but a lot more muscle injuries have happened this season. It seems every game I watch on telly or every game I’m involved in, somebody is going off injured with something.

“I think the Premier League is the best league in the world but you want your best players on there and you want all squads to have their best team available and being able to compete for different things. We’re maybe not seeing that as much just now because players are unfortunately picking up muscle injuries.

“I just think maybe we could get a little bit more help. We’ll crack on with it and let that kind of get decided elsewhere. As it stands we’ll prepare for a game every three days and we’ll try to be as fit and as healthy as possible.”

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Further on the subject of fitness, the Scotland captain was asked whether he would ever consciously try to manage his levels within a game due to the amount of fixtures and the injuries currently affecting the Liverpool squad.

“No, I always go 100 per cent,” he said. “You know, when it gets to game day, I always go 100 per cent of course. But certain games you maybe need to adapt.

“For instance, Atalanta away, we adapted a wee bit – me and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] played a wee bit deeper and a wee bit more inside, instead of us being the width, that maybe saved our legs a wee bit or didn’t mean we were sprinting as much. We also got taken off in that game because of how well we had played and the game was finished.

“You maybe do need to adapt as the season goes on but not too much – the reason you are playing is because of the way you play, so you can’t change everything and you can’t change too much.

“The schedule isn’t going to change, we know what games we’ve got coming up, we know what games are around the corner. It’s just about trying to prepare as best as possible for them, trying to keep as fit and healthy, trying to listen to the sports scientists, listen to your body and trying to do everything right leading up to games.

“So far, touch wood, I’ve been OK and I’ve been fit. Hopefully that continues because obviously the schedule is not going to get any easier but hopefully I can stay as fit and healthy as I am just now.”

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LFC to submit planning application for proposed Anfield Road stand redevelopment

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 14:59

Liverpool Football Club will this week submit a planning application to Liverpool City Council for the proposed expansion of the Anfield Road stand.

The submission of the planning application was paused in spring this year due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The plans would see the capacity of the Anfield Road stand increase by around 7,000 seats, taking the stadium’s overall capacity to more than 61,000. 

As part of the application, the club is also seeking permanent permission to hold concerts and major events at the stadium.

The plans for the Anfield Road stand have been the subject of two stages of public consultation with local residents, business, fans and stakeholders. 

The first stage, launched 12 months ago, included the permanent closure of a small section of Anfield Road, in line with the original planning permission granted in 2014. After listening to feedback on this option, the club made changes to the plans.

A second stage of consultation was held in February 2020, during which the club presented new and updated plans. This included plans to keep Anfield Road open, with the road realigned around the footprint of the proposed expanded stand. More than 700 responses were received to the consultation and the revised plans were well received, with the vast majority of respondents expressing support for the plans. 

Andy Hughes, managing director of Liverpool FC, said: “We have been clear from the start that the expansion would be based on three things: financial viability and sustainability, the successful navigation of the complex planning landscape and with the co-operation of local residents and the community.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has offered a contribution to that consultation process. We feel that we now have a proposal that has been informed by our neighbours, will support the wider economy and provide an opportunity for more of our fans to come to Anfield to support our great team.

“The last nine months without fans in our stadium has driven home our commitment to making Anfield accessible to more fans than ever before and while a high level of uncertainty remains around COVID-19, we would like to be in a position to move ahead with the proposed redevelopment as soon as the time is right, which is why we’ve decided to move forward with submitting the planning application.”

The planning application will shortly be submitted to Liverpool City Council and is expected to be decided in spring 2021.

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LFC opens Wolves ticket ballot for qualifying fans

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 14:42

Liverpool FC will be opening a ballot today for eligible fans to apply for tickets for the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday December 6.

Guidance and support from the city’s public health team outlined that the ballot can only be open to supporters who live within the Liverpool City Region. Fans must also be a season ticket holder or current official Member with 19 credits from the 2018-19 Premier League season who have completed Fan Update.

Eligible supporters for both general admission and hospitality tickets will be contacted via email and will be able to enter the ballot online from today. All supporters who enter the ballot will be notified of the results on Tuesday December 1.

Any supporters successful in this ballot who purchase a ticket will be excluded from entering future ballots until all other eligible supporters have been successful. If any eligible fans choose not to enter this ballot, then they will still be able to enter future ballots.

Fans can apply with four other members of their household or support bubble. There is no guarantee that all submissions will be successful. Junior supporters are the exception to this rule and adult/junior combined tickets will be available.

Before entering the ballot, fans must refer to a new supporter code of conduct and, if successful, complete a health declaration questionnaire 24 hours before kick-off to ensure they comply with the new guidelines that will be in place to make Anfield as safe as possible for everybody present.

Alongside the Main Stand, the club will also be opening up the Kop for the Wolves fixture in order to prepare and test matchday operations, ready for when additional fans could be permitted.

The club has also introduced NFC (Near Field Communication) technology for stadium entry for this game, which means that tickets will be digital and only available on a smart mobile phone. These tickets are non-transferrable and cannot be forwarded on to another mobile phone.

Fans can also find more information and guidance on the ballot process and return to Anfield on the dedicated website hub: liverpoolfc.com/return-of-supporters-to-anfield.

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Jürgen Klopp on Ajax, CL qualification and 'important' backroom staff

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 14:20

Jürgen Klopp discussed a wide range of topics when he previewed Liverpool's Champions League affair with AFC Ajax.

The Reds welcome the Eredivisie outfit to Anfield on Tuesday evening and would secure passage to the knockout rounds of the competition if they avoid defeat. 

The boss held a press conference on Monday afternoon via video link to look ahead to the Group D encounter with Erik ten Hag's team. 

Read on for a summary of Klopp's pre-match media briefing...

On whether he expects another tough game with Ajax...

Yeah, why should I not expect a close game? Ajax Amsterdam is a really good side and since our game is flying pretty much through the league. Big results, clear top of the table, very talented, some players coming back – these kind of things. Yes, I expect a close game.

On how significant achieving qualification would be ahead of a busy December...

I actually don't see it in that perspective because that would mean I count somehow with the points already. We deal with the situation like how the situation is. Yes, three points would be great, absolutely great. But that is obviously on the table, so clear that it would help us massively. I didn't think I would have to mention it today. But yes, of course, important game against a really good team and that's the way we want to approach it.

On the importance of the backroom staff in ensuring the players are ready for games in quick succession...

They are always incredibly important in moments like this. It is an intense period, so of course sometimes the players spend more time in that department than with me on the pitch. For sure, because we don't train a lot, we can't. So, yes, very, very important and they know it. It's a busy time for all of us and for them, for sure, as well. 

On whether he has to prioritise competitions this season...

I don't have enough players for doing that. It's not about the competition, it's about the game we play. So it means we play two days ago and the fittest players for that game were on the pitch and that will be the case again for this game because, how I said, there are not enough players to make these kind of decisions. I never made this kind of decision – Premier League and Champions League or whatever – because all competitions are for us very, very, very important. 

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On 2,000 supporters scheduled to be in attendance for Liverpool's game with Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 6...

As a player, I had never more than 2,000 supporters probably. But since I worked as a coach, there was more people in the stadium and I don't know exactly who will be in and who will be the 2,000. But, yes, I'm happy for the 2,000 lucky ones who get the chance to see live football again after all that time. But I have no experience with 2,000 people at Anfield, to be honest, so we will see. How we adapted to no supporters in the stadium, we will try to use 2,000 in the stadium and try not to suffer with 2,000 or 4,000 supporters in an away stadium. So that's how it is. But it's really not about us or the advantage we have with that or the disadvantage somewhere else, it's just a nice sign that these things are possible and I hope it’s just the first step. That is my biggest hope.

On how well Rhys Williams and Neco Williams have done coming into the team...

Look, if somebody is a Liverpool youth or Academy player in general, he has already, for sure, a lot of talent – otherwise you can't make the cut. When you then go through all these difficult moments in your youth academy career then you are already used to some difficult situations and some pressure. But when you come up and you make the final step and you have to play in a competitive game for the first team, that's a different animal. I think the boys adapted really well. They did a lot of really good stuff, helped us enormously, are very important – not only in the moment, but especially in the moment. The only problem they have from time to time is that people compare them with the guy who played the position before them. They are, in our case, all world-class players and that makes it maybe kind of difficult for people to see clear how talented these boys are. But from my point of view, they did really, really well.

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