2018-19 UEFA Champions League Semi Finals: First Legs – Tuesday

Tottenham Hotspur welcome Ajax to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Semi-Final. 

Team news

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Tottenham Hotspur will be without Harry Winks who has undergone groin surgery for an on-going issue. 

Moussa Sissoko (groin) and Jan Vertonghen (thigh) will face late fitness tests ahead of the match, whilst Son Heung-min (suspension) and Vincent Janssen (ineligibility) won’t feature.

Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela remain sidelined with hamstring injuries whilst Harry Kane (ankle) is also absent. 

Ajax could have Nicolas Tagliafico available if he can overcome a knock picked up last time out against Vitesse Arnhem. 

Noussair Mazraoui is back in training after a recent ankle injury but it’s unclear whether he will feature on the team sheet. 

Carel Eiting (knee) and Hassane Bande (calf) are both sidelined for this leg.

 

Stat Attack

  • Tottenham have won the only previous clash between these teams in September 1981 in UEFA Winners Cup, where they ran out 6-1 winners on aggregate and kept a clean sheet at home.
  • Only seven of Tottenham’s 17 Champions League goals this season have come from players who are available for this match with Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Fernando Llorente all netting twice whilst Jan Vertonghen scored once.
  • Neither team has reached the Champions League Semi-Finals this century with Ajax last doing so in 1997, whereas this is Tottenham’s first such appearance at this stage of any European competition since winning the 1983-84 UEFA Cup over two legs against Anderlecht. 

 

Prediction

This is a tough one because this is Tottenham’s third straight home first leg, whereas Ajax have played their away legs second in the last two rounds, so omens wise, it feels all swings and roundabouts really if like your patterns. 

Spurs however have a point to prove after being slightly unlucky to lose their 100% home record on Saturday to West Ham, whilst Ajax haven’t played for an entire week so the start will be key. 

I am therefore expecting goals, especially as the Dutch team have netted in each of their last three trips to England but if Spurs can play at their best even without key players, I fancy them to head to Amsterdam with one foot in the final.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Ajax

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