Tottenham vs. Ajax: road to glory?
Tottenham Hotspur host Ajax in the UEFA Champions League semi final first-leg later tonight looking to progress to the final. The Dutch side lead Eredivisie at the moment whilst Spurs are 3rd in the Premier League.
Tottenham will be without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min who are injured and suspended respectively. Son has been their best player recently and played a pivotal part in defeating Manchester City in the previous round.
Spurs are looking to rebound from losing 1-0 to London rivals West Ham at the weekend, their first defeat at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, whilst Ajax had their fixture postponed by the Dutch FA in preparation.
Both teams emerged from tough groups. Spurs have made it this far by beating Dortmund and Man City in the knockout rounds whilst Ajax stunned the holders Real Madrid and upset Juventus to reach this stage.
Ajax have the youngest average starting XI in the entire competition and their scintillating football has being compared to the Ajax that won 3 consecutive Champions Leagues from in the mid 70’s with Johan Cruyff.
Spurs have not acquired any new signings for the previous two seasons and Ajax’s star players Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Justin Kluivert are all headed to bigger teams at the end of the season.
This has been dubbed the ‘underdog semi-final’ as both teams have not expected to get this far and are overachieving considering the size of their budget and squad.
The return leg at the Amsterdam ArenA will be held next Wednesday, with the winners playing the other victorious semi-finalists from Liverpool and FC Barcelona, who just sealed their 4th LaLiga title in 5 seasons.
The final will be held on June 1st at Estadio Metropolitano, home of Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid won last year’s title by beating Liverpool 3-1 in Kyiv, Ukraine for their third consecutive triumph.