Tottenham Entertain Ajax In The Champions League Semi Final First Leg Tonight Looking For An All Important Clean Sheet To Take To The Johan Cruyff Arena (Amsterdam) Next Week. Team News. Comments. Stats, And Prediction.
By: Marc Gingell
For me, and maybe a few others who can remember that great Ajax team of the early seventies, whenever I see or read about Ajax I think about Johan Cruyff. One of the best players of all time. He even had a turn named after him which I still can’t perfect. He was a one-off in the same league as Pele, Maradona, and George Best. Nowadays it’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
|30-04-2019||Tottenham Hotspur Stadium||Tottenham Hotspur||v||Ajax|
|KO:20:00||REF: A Mateu Lahoz|
Fortress Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
For any Tottenham stars, such as Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura, the opportunity for trying a Cruyff Turn in the Cruyff Stadium might present itself next week. But for tonight it’s all about keeping a clean sheet.
In five games at their new stadium Tottenham have just conceded one goal, in the weekend defeat to West Ham, and after beating Manchester City on away goals they know the importance of a shut-out.
Tottenham Hotspur Team News
- Unknown Return Date: Serge Aurier Hamstring injury. Harry Winks Groin injury. Harry Kane Ankle injury. Erik Lamela Hamstring injury.
- Suspended. Due Back For Second Leg: Heung-Min Son
- 75% Chance of Playing: Moussa Sissoko Groin injury.
Tottenham’s – Ajax Old Boys!
Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld all used to play for the Amsterdam side, with the first three joining Spurs from there while the latter came via Atletico Madrid.
Eriksen called it “a fairy tale” and Alderweireld sent a message via social media. “Your boys are coming home,” it read.
Dusan Tadic and his teammates had the weekend off to prepare for this game as the Dutch F.A. postponed the whole league for the weekend. So they will be well rested.
As for Tadic, this time last year, he scored two goals as Southampton beat Bournemouth 2-1 which helped the St. Mary’s team stay up. Southampton fans never questioned his talent but he was inconsistent.
In June 2018 he joined Ajax for £11.4 million and he’s suddenly become Mr. Consistent with 24 goals in 36 games. Between 2012-2014 he played 66 games for Twente, another team from the Dutch Eredivisie, and scored 28 goals. When you consider he scored 20 for Southampton in 134 games it obvious his talents are more suited to Dutch football. Or that he should have been playing for Manchester City!
In the Champions League Tadic has six goals and three assists. Only Messi has more than him with 13.
It will be interesting to see how Tadic gets on against Vertonghen, Sanchez and Alderweireld who he played with at Southampton for a brief period.
- Tottenham have won both of their previous meetings with Ajax in all competitions, winning both legs in the first round of the 1981-82 Cup Winners’ Cup (3-1 away, 3-0 at home).
- Ajax have won just one of their six previous Champions League meetings with English opposition (3-1 vs Man City in October 2012), with all three of their away games finishing as draws (twice vs Arsenal, once vs Man City).
- Tottenham are looking to become the 40th different team to reach the final of the European Cup/Champions League, and the eighth different English side (already more than any other nation). The last team to reach the final for the first time were their London rivals Chelsea in 2008.
- Tottenham are playing in their first European Cup/Champions League semi-final since 1961-62, when they were eliminated by eventual winners Benfica.
- After knocking out both Real Madrid and Juventus, Ajax became the first side in European Cup/Champions League history to progress from two different knockout rounds within the same campaign when failing to win their first leg at home.
- The average age of Ajax’s starting XI in the Champions League this season has been 24 years and 257 days – the youngest of any of the semi-finalists, and second youngest of all 32 teams to take part in the competition this season.
- Tottenham have won eight of their last 10 Champions League home games (L2), including each of the last four in a row. They’ve also kept a clean sheet in each of their last three.
- Only Lionel Messi (13) has been directly involved in more Champions League goals this season than Ajax’s Dusan Tadic (9 – 6 goals, 3 assists).
Tottenham are without their two best goal scorers so someone else has to step up to the plate. Perhaps Dele Alli can provide a moment of magic as he really hasn’t shown a lot this season.