Ajax Amsterdam vs Tottenham Hotspur live updates
Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham Hotspur will have a hard time emulating the amazing scenes at Anfield on Tuesday night but progression to Europe’s biggest stage will be the focus.
Hakan Ziyech, Dusan Tadic and David Neres have formed the most exciting attacking trident in Champions League football outside of Liverpool this season. Neres is expected to recover from a niggle to take his place in the starting XI, though Ajax have veteran striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in reserve, just in case.
Donny van de Beek’s cool finish in the first leg is the difference between the two sides, but the result at Anfield will remind both sides how slender that advantage is.
Heung-Min Son returns from suspension to give Tottenham a completely different dimension to their attacking play.
That and the way Spurs were able to frustrate Ajax in the second half of the first leg has given manager Mauricio Pochettino hope of guiding his side into a dream final.
“The negative result in the first leg obviously makes it more difficult, but the tie is still open,” Pochettino said in his pre-match presser.
“We know we need to win and perform our best. It’s an exciting moment for us. We need to feel more freedom to play, because we have nothing to lose.
“Nobody thought that we would have the chance in the last week of the season to reach the final of the Champions League. Now we need to enjoy this moment and believe.”
Ajax looked on song going forward this weekend, when they won the KNVB Cup with a 4-0 win over Willem II but trainer Erik ten Hag wants to see more from his side in the final third. Ajax struggled to get onto the front foot when Spurs switched to a high press last week.
“During the last hour [of the first leg] we did good things; the organisation of the team in defence was excellent,” said Ten Hag
“We need to do more in an attacking sense. We have to read the game and see what’s required and that’s the challenge.
“The away goal was important last week. We will play in an arena with an incredible atmosphere and we hope that will help us. When you play against a Premier League team, the intensity is higher. We will have to push our boundaries again.”
Ajax: Onana; Mazraoui, Blind, De Ligt, Tagliafico; Van de Beek, De Jong, Schöne; Ziyech, Tadić, Neres
Out: Bandé (calf)
Doubtful: Neres (unspecified)
Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Wanyama; Alli, Eriksen, Moura; Son
Out: Kane (ankle), Winks (hip), Sánchez (thigh)
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