Written by Mizgan Masani.
The UEFA Champions League group stage draw left the potential for an enthralling season ahead in the European top-flight competition. In Group D, 2019 winners Liverpool will face more European royalty in Dutch Eredivisie champions Ajax Amsterdam, free-flowing Italian side Atalanta and Danish side FC Midtjylland.
The first thing to note from Liverpool’s viewpoint is that away trips to Italy, Netherlands and Denmark won’t be too taxing for players in terms of the distance covered (total miles from Liverpool to the three cities Milan, Amsterdam and Herning is around 2400 miles, which makes it a 4,800-mile round trip to play three away European games). So, in that respect, the Premier League champions have got a bit more time to settle into games after travelling.
Now let’s take a detailed look at the three teams who are going to be playing against Jürgen Klopp’s Reds home and away.
Ajax are one of those historic European teams who belong to this stage because of their rich history. Though they haven’t done much despite making it to the group-stages of the Champions League more times than not, they struggle to come out of it and reach the knockout stage. They reached the semi-finals in the 2018/19 season, but before that it was in 2006 when they last played a Champions League knockout tie. With key players like Donny van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech sold, the Dutch champions will have their work cut out to move into the knockout stages from this group.
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