There isn’t any rest for the weary as just two weeks after our last Champions League matches, the Champions League Semifinals will get underway. The first of the two semifinals pits two teams that weren’t expected to be here against one another. Ajax have been the giant killer of the competition, and they have a real chance to harken back to their glory days in the 1970s with a win here. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are in the semifinals of the Champions League for just the second time in their history, and they are looking to make their first final.
Champions League Semifinals Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Tottenham Hotspur +132
Ajax have repeatedly proved they are one of the elite teams in European football thanks to a dynamite young squad that has continually improved throughout the season. They didn’t lose a match despite being paired in a group with Bayern Munich and Benfica, but they were sizable underdogs in the last two knockout rounds. Ajax overcame a 2-1 home loss to defending champions Real Madrid in the first leg of the Round of 16 to send the most storied Champions League team out of the competition, and they did the improbable against Italian giants Juventus two weeks ago.
Tottenham Hotspur didn’t look like they would make it out of the group stage after some disappointing results. They were underdogs to get out headed into the last day of the competition, but they secured a miracle point on the road against Barcelona and advanced over Inter Milan after Inter failed to beat PSV Eindhoven in the San Siro. Spurs easily handled Borussia Dortmund over two legs in the Round of 16, and they overcame the loss of Harry Kane to stun Manchester City on away goals.
Kane is going to be out for at least the first leg of this tie because of an ankle injury, but he is hoping to return for the second leg. That seems unlikely given the nature of the injury. Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko have been ruled out, while Erik Lamela and Harry Winks are questionable.
Noussair Mazraoui is going to miss this match because of an ankle injury, while Zakaria El Azzouzi, Hassane Bande, and Carel Eiting are all long-term injuries. Nicolas Tagliafico is doubtful to play.
Matchup to Watch
It’s been a complete effort from Ajax throughout their run through the Champions League. The defending has been overlooked at times though, and the back line was impeccable against Juventus two weeks ago. The center of the defense is solid with former Manchester United player Daley Blind pairing up with sensational teenager Matthijs de Ligt, and the two can come up and score too. The outside backs are solid, but injuries are going to leave them without Tagliafico and Mazraoui, and that’s something Tottenham might exploit.
Spurs don’t have Kane, but they have some great attacking options. Lucas Moura has been superb throughout the season, and Son Heung-min has been fantastic. Christian Eriksen continues to show a knack for picking out an open man that makes him the envy of many big clubs in Europe.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This is going to be an excellent match. Ajax are not used to playing on the road first, so this will be a welcome change of pace, and the youngsters aren’t going to be scared of the moment.
Ajax will have the advantage of rest as the Dutch Eredivisie postponed all matches this week, while Tottenham will have to take on West Ham on Saturday. I think that, along with Ajax’s brilliant set of youngsters will be the key in an Ajax win.
Champions League Prediction: Ajax 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1
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