UCL Preview: Ajax Vs Tottenham

UCL Preview: Ajax Vs Tottenham

Tottenham will look to overturn a narrow deficit when they head to Amsterdam for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.

Spurs trail 1-0 on aggregate after Donny van de Beek’s 15th-minute goal at their new stadium last week. It was a match overshadowed by the debate surrounding an injury to Jan Vertonghen.

In the match, Spurs failed to cope with their young, vibrant opponents in the first half before improving after the interval.

After the victory, Ajax are in the driving seat. The pair are the surprise sides in the last four, but the Dutch league leaders could wrap up a place in June’s final on Wednesday.

Spurs on the other hand are fighting against history in their push for the final. Their recent record without Harry Kane has been poor. Can the Premier League outfit rally without their talisman and claim a famous win in this visit to Amsterdam?

Sunday saw Ajax claim the first leg of a potential treble as they hammered Willem II 4-0 in the Dutch Cup final on Sunday. Ajax are narrowly ahead of PSV in the Eredivisie, while they are aiming for a shock success in Europe.

Only seven sides in history have won their league, their major domestic cup and the Champions League in the same season.

Of those seven, two have been Dutch, which makes the Netherlands the only nation with two treble winners. Ajax achieved it in 1972 and they are four games away from a repeat.

Meanwhile, it was an odd weekend on the domestic front for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Heung-min Son and Juan Foyth were sent off in a stoppage-time defeat to Bournemouth.

They looked like they had missed the opportunity to guarantee a top-four Premier League finish only for Manchester United and Arsenal to drop points 24 hours later.

This means tha the Gunners will need a massive goal swing on the final day of the season to usurp their north London rivals.

Among the 2018/19 Champions League semi-finalists, Ajax are the only club to have scored in every game in the competition this season. That’s likely to make it a tough night for the Spurs defence.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Last week’s first leg saw Ajax record their first competitive victory over Tottenham in three attempts.

Previously, they were beaten 6-1 on aggregate in a two-legged UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup tie in 1981.

FORM

The visitors head to the Johan Cryuff Arena with five defeats in their last six games. Their away league record is mixed, having lost at all of the top five on the road in the league.

Also, since the start of 2018, Spurs have won only one of their six Champions League away games, a 1-0 victory at Dortmund in this season’s round of 16 (D3 L2).

You’ll be smart to head to BetBiga who are offering great odds for a home win.

Given that Ajax can boast of a five game winning run behind them, we’re backing the Dutch side to win this clash. All of Spurs’ last five games have seen just a single goal scored – including four 1-0 defeats.

Therefore, we are backing a 1-0 win for the hosts which BetBiga has assigned premium odds to. Betting on an under 2.5 goals will also be a smart idea.

PREDICTION

Unsurprisingly, for a team that have played so many matches this season and not made a signing since January 2018, Tottenham are looking weary as the end of the season approaches.

However, they are only trailing by one goal and are still well in the tie. This should give them confidence given how well Ajax started that first leg.

The pressure is off for Spurs in some ways as a result of them securing a top-four finish by their rivals’ ineptitude. Meanwhile, Ajax do not appear quite as strong at home in the Champions League as they have been on the road (losing to Real Madrid and drawing with Juventus and Bayern Munich).

Having said that, only one of the 17 teams who have lost the home first leg of a semi-final in the Champions League era have gone on to win on aggregate – Ajax themselves in 1995-96.

For many, its job done for the Dutch side but that’s ignoring the fact that Tottenham have achieved some great results away from home in this season’s Champions League – notably in Barcelona and Dortmund. They will have striker Son Heung-min available for the second leg. This is far from over.

Spurs will give it a go, but that should just leave them open at the back and we predict a 1-0 home victory to complete our Ajax vs Tottenham betting tips.

 

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