Football

Wim Kieft wary of Liverpool exploiting Ajax Amsterdam's defence

While much attention has been paid to the absence of Liverpool defensive stalwarts Alisson and Virgil van Dijk through injury, ex-Ajax Amsterdam striker Wim Kieft highlighted that his former side are also vulnerable at the back.

Ajax's three league goals conceded are significantly less than the 13 Liverpool have let in this season in the English Premier League, but 1981/82 European Golden Shoe winner Kieft said that does not paint a full picture.

Speaking ahead of the Champions League Group D clash between the sides tomorrow morning (Singapore time), former European Cup winner Kieft told Dutch publication De Telegraaf: "Does Erik ten Hag stick to the offensive way of playing with a lot of space behind the last line or does he choose a more careful way of fighting?

"Defensively, Ajax are vulnerable with (Daley) Blind, (Noussair) Mazraoui and, to a lesser extent, (Nicolas) Tagliafico.

"(Perr) Schuurs offers no guarantees in the back. Caution is advised.

"If ten Hag does not build in any security in midfield with (Davy) Klaassen and (Edson) Alvarez or (Lisandro) Martinez and, if he has two of the three positions occupied by (Quincy) Promes, (Ryan) Gravenberch and/or (Mohammed) Kudus, then you call out problems against Liverpool."

Reds manager Juergen Klopp, meanwhile, said he was excited to face Ajax, noting: "Two or 1½ years ago, they played an exceptional Champions League campaign, absolutely exceptional.

"The way they played, wow. All good, but we didn't play them that year.

"It would have been only possible in the final and that didn't happen because of Tottenham (Hotspur). So, now we meet and I'm excited."

Football