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Reds race to Anfield half-century under Klopp with equal-best tally on the line

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Jurgen Klopp are looking to continue their December success by notching a win over Ajax to equal their best ever tally in the Champions League group stage.

Liverpool have lost one of their last 30 matches played during the month of December and that was the youngsters defeat at Aston Villa in last season’s Carabao Cup.

And the Atalanta defeat was the first time that Liverpool had lost at Anfield by more than one goal under Jurgen Klopp in 137 matches.

A win this evening will see the Reds record a fourth win in the group to equal their best ever tally.

 

Wanted and Unwanted Records

BERGAMO, ITALY - Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Mohamed Salah (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at the Stadio di Bergamo. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

In the home defeat to Atalanta Liverpool were the first team to name three British teenagers in their starting XI for a Champions League match since Arsenal, who selected four, against Olympiakos in 2009.

The Reds next goal will be their 50th at Anfield in Europe’s major competition under Jurgen Klopp. Mo Salah has netted the most with 13, Roberto Firmino has nine with 14 different Reds players finding the net.

Liverpool last failed to score in back to back Champions League games in the 2014/15 group stage (in a sequence of three).

The last time they did not score in consecutive games in Europe at Anfield was in 2005/06 when they drew 0-0 with Real Betis in the group and lost to Benfica in the Round of 16.

 

Permutations

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 25, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker and his team-mates line-up before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta BC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A point from this game will be enough to guarantee Liverpool’s qualification for the knockout stages as should they complete the group level on points with Ajax or Atalanta they would come out on top on the head to head.

Four points from the remaining two fixtures will guarantee that Liverpool will progress as group winners, where they are aiming to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages for the time 10th time.

 

Dutch Luck

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the opening UEFA Champions League Group D match between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. (Pic by Orange Pictures via Propaganda)

Liverpool have never lost to Dutch opposition at Anfield, winning five and drawing two out of seven encounters.

The draws came with Ajax (2-2) in 1966 and 0-0 against Utrecht in the 2010/11 Europa League group stage.

Unbeaten in the last 14 games against Dutch opponents since the 5-1 defeat to Ajax in 1965.

Matchday one made it three successive clean sheets against Dutch clubs for the Reds, although they have scored only one goal themselves in those fixtures – and that an own goal.

 

England fortunes Ajax

AMSTERDAM , 18-10-2020 , JohanCruyff Arena , Dutch Eredivisie, Season 2019-2020 , Ajax - SC Heerenveen , Ajax player Dusan Tadic celebrating the 2-0 (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)

Ajax have scored at least twice in eight of their last nine away Champions League fixtures and in their last five away games in league and cup this season they have scored 25 times.

In all competitions they have conceded two goals in their last five matches.

They were unbeaten in all three group Champions League games away from home last season.

They also remain unbeaten in the last four visits to England since losing at Aston Villa in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.

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

 

This Season’s Scorers

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 28, 2020: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (L) celebrates with team-mates James Milner (C) and Takumi Minamino (R) after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 10, Jota 9, Mané 5, Minamino 3, Firmino 2, Jones 2, Grujic 1, Origi 1, Robertson 1, Shaqiri 1, van Dijk 1, own goals 2.

Ajax: Tadic 9, Traore 8, Antony 5, Klaassen 5, Labyad 4, Promes 4, Ekkelenkamp 3, Huntelaar 2, Martinez 2, Neres 2, Blind 1, Brobbey 1, Gravenberch 1, Kudus 1, Mazraoui 1.


* Statistics courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).

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