Tottenham vs Ajax: Both the sides will meet for the first leg of the semifinal later tonight at Tottenham Hotspur stadium. We take a look at their predicted lineups.
When the Champions League draw was made for the round-of-16, few people imagined sides like Tottenham and Ajax to go this far in the tournament.
Tottenham were drawn with Borussia Dortmund, who were relentless in the Bundesliga at the time. Ajax, on the other hand, faced the winners of the previous three Champions League seasons, Real Madrid.
However, both the sides upset the odds, and continued to dominate their opponents even in the quarterfinal to set up a clash in the final four.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side will host the first leg at their new stadium later tonight, and we take a look at the predicted lineups for both the sides.
Tottenham predicted lineup vs Ajax:
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
The French goalkeeper has been a key performer for the side for many years and Pochettino would hope for the side’s captain to step up against the mighty Dutch.
Defence: Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose
Luckily, for Pochettino, none of his first-choice defenders faces injury concerns for this game. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will have a lot of work to do in this game, as they aim to keep the young Ajax attack at bay.
Midfield: Dyer, Wanyama, Alli, Eriksen, Lucas
We believe Pochettino might be inclined to play a 4-5-1, as two of his main players, Harry Kane and Son-heung Min are out of this game. While Kane is recovering from a ligament injury, Son is suspended for the game after picking up a yellow card against Manchester City.
Lucas Moura has been impressive in the last few games and could be starting on the right, while Dele Alli will assume his role as an attacking midfielder.
Forward: Fernando Llorente
Llorente scored the decisive goal for Tottenham in the second leg against Manchester City to ensure a path to the semifinal of the Champions League. In the absence of Harry Kane, Llorente becomes the obvious choice to lead the attack.
Tottenham predicted lineup
Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertongthen, Rose; Dier, Wanyama, Alli, Eriksen, Lucas; Llorente
Ajax predicted lineup vs Tottenham:
Goalkeeper: Andre Onana
Andre Onana had been immense for Ajax in their Champions League ties against Real Madrid and Juventus. As ten Hag’s side takes on a relatively depleted Tottenham attack, Onana would aim to deny Tottenham the goal at home.
Defence: Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico
Nicolas Tagliafico was a doubt after he suffered from a minor injury against Vitesse a week ago, but he is expected to make a start in the semifinal.
Matthijs De Ligt and Daley Blind have been outstanding in the central defence, with the former even scoring against Juventus in Turin in the second leg of the quarterfinal.
Midfield: Schone, De Jong; Ziyech, De Beek, Neres
Ajax is expected to play a 4-2-3-1 with Schone and De Jong taking care of defensive duties. De Jong, however, could also be contributing to the attacking moves throughout the game.
David Neres has been among the goals in the last few weeks, while De Beek scored the opening goal for Ajax in Turin.
Forward: Dusan Tadic
Tadic’s performance against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu will be the one to remember for ages. And by no means should it be considered a one-off as Tadic maintained is consistency in the quarterfinals as well.
He needs to be at his best as Ajax eyes for an all-important away goal in the tie.
Ajax predicted lineup vs Tottenham:
Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Schone, De Jong; Ziyech, De Beek, Neres; Tadic
How Twitter reacted..
Now this is total football from Ajax 😍
— Goal (@goal) April 23, 2019
Poch thought it was unfair that Ajax got extra rest for the tie with Spurs while his team had to play a match on Saturday. Erik ten Hag responded in style and said:
“Ajax get €10m out of television money. Tottenham €200m. What’s fair?” pic.twitter.com/ZJRDzc7PHI
— Sjors van Veen (@SjorsvVeen) April 29, 2019
— Goal India (@Goal_India) April 29, 2019
Tottenham will return to Premier League action on the weekend against Bournemouth, as they aim to secure a third-place finish. Ajax, meanwhile, will take on Willem II in the cup final on Sunday.
Take a look at the first leg of the semifinal here.