Unlike their English neighbours Liverpool who lost 3-0 at Camp Nou against Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur have a much less difficult task to overcome in the Champions League semifinal second leg. The English side lost 1-0 at home to Ajax in the first leg of the semifinal despite dominating proceedings for most of the game and will need to be at their best in the second leg against the Dutch league leaders to get a result. Donny Van De Beek scored the only goal in the first leg to give Ten Hag’s men the advantage going into the second leg at the Cruyff stadium. This means Tottenham need to win the game to progress and here we outline five reasons why we believe Spurs will not only do that, but will also progress to the final.
- THEY JUST NEED TO WIN
Despite the fact that Ajax came out top in the first leg, the Dutch team are in a very delicate position given the fact that they scored just one away goal against their opponents. For this reason, any win by Tottenham at the Cruyff stadium will mean Pochettino’s men won’t be going out and more specifically, any win other than 1-0 will mean Tottenham Hotspur qualify for the final. It is very unlikely for Ajax not to score as they’ve done that more than any other team in Europe but Spurs will go into the game knowing that even a 2-1 win will take them to Madrid. So, the English side stand a good chance of progressing.
2. AJAX HAVE BEEN DOING BETTER AWAY
This is a mystery as it is believed that teams ought to perform better when they play in front of their fans. This hasn’t been the case for Ajax in this season’s Champions League as the side seem to be getting better results when they play away from home. In this season’s knockout round, they lost 2-1 at home to Real Madrid in the first leg but went on to win 4-1 at the Bernabeu. They also drew 1-1 at home against Juventus but came out 2-1 winners in Turin. Now they’ve gotten a 1-0 away win and there’s a huge possibility that the trend could continue and Ajax get a worse result which might be a loss, hence Tottenham progressing.
3. SON IS BACK
Tottenham dominated Ajax in the most part of the game but looked extremely clueless and wasteful in the final third. The absence of key attacker Son Heung-Min played a major role in this as Tottenham failed to create a real big chance against their opponents despite playing at home. This time, Son is back in the team which means the coach will drop the cross-and-hope tactics deployed in the first leg because it is very likely the coach will drop Fernando Llorente. Son possesses the quality to cause a lot of problems for the Ajax defense as he can dribble, create chances and isn’t shy to go at goal himself. His presence is a huge plus for Spurs and a disadvantage for the hosts.
4. THE CL IS SPURS ONLY TITLE HOPE
Tottenham are officially out of all the Championships they’re competing in except the UEFA Champions League. They can’t afford to go trophyless for another season and know they stand a chance in winning this particular title. A lot of fans tipped them as top dogs in this encounter and they wouldn’t want to blow their chance of making it to their first Champions League final hence they’re projected to give 1000% at the Johan Cruyff arena on Wednesday.
5. TOTTENHAM HAVE DEFIED THE ODDS BEFORE
Yes, a lot of people wrote this team off when the draw was announced that Spurs will come up against the mighty Manchester City led by Pep Guardiola but Pochettino came out tops and qualified for the semis at the expense of the Manchester side much to the surprise of many football fans. Now, they’re fazed with another obstacle of similar characteristics and despite the fact that the odds are against a Tottenham qualification, it is very much likely as this players are definitely going to go into the tie with great belief knowing they can get a positive result.
This game is pretty much open in my opinion, and I believe anything can happen. Ajax are favourites but you never can tell, an early goal, a mistake, VAR… There are many factors that can play out in Tottenham’s Favour and they can get the passage to the final in Madrid.