Here are our top Ajax v Tottenham Champions League betting tips. Ajax beat Tottenham for the first time in competitive football in the first-leg, ensuring they go into this contest with an aggregate lead as well as the benefits of an away goal. The Dutch giants started the fixture in London having played two, lost two vs Spurs, but records and made to be broken and this young Ajax side is just the lot to smash them. The sides first paired off in the Cup Winners Cup back in 1981 when Tottenham eased to a 3-1 success, before dealing out a 3-0 beating at White Hart Lane. There was to be no repeat performance.
An In-Depth Look at The Game
There have been rumours this is the side to bring Ajax back to the top of European football and we saw flashes earlier in the competition they were keen to go far. Few expected them to be playing in the semi-finals with a shot at reaching the last two and lifting the trophy, however. When drawn against Real Madrid the general feeling was their run would come to a shuddering halt and they’d prove just another stat on their opponent’s impressive record. That wasn’t the case – nowhere near it, in fact. Ajax battered Blancos 5-3 on aggregate, after winning 4-1 in Spain.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, they then went and knocked out Juventus in the next stage, claiming a 3-2 aggregate win over The Old Lady, a 2-1 in Italy helping do the damage. If Ajax are to win the cup, they will do it having been handed the toughest route to the final. Tottenham were next to feel the pain, beaten 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium thanks to a goal from van de Beek on 15 minutes.
Still Alive and Kicking
Following that home defeat, Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the press, blaming a weak start for the result. He credited his opponents for their early energy but thought Tottenham worked their way back into the game and issued a rallying cry to the squad and their fans – we are alive. They were torn apart by Ajax, but the truth of the matter remains, there’s still only a goal in it and there’s more to come from this Spurs side. They looked off-colour in the first-leg, probably the worst we’ve seen from them, but they remain in the fixture.
A number of excuses can be made for that home defeat to Ajax – not the score, but the performance itself. The team looked leggy, they have a number of injuries to key players, including Harry Kane, and they gave their opponents far too much respect. They must score at least a couple of goals in Holland to go through but what’s to say they can’t double their efforts from the first leg and have a real go at their hosts following a bit of a break, Pochettino using squad players at the weekend? It’s also possible Ajax could be feeling the pace by now, following some tough nights at the office, and if they play the way Tottenham did in London, this one will get a lot more interesting.
Pochettino also looks likely to set-up in a different formation, something more similar to the one that has brought them success in this competition already, and he admitted at the end of the Ajax game he may have got it wrong. They should return to a back four in Holland, knowing scoring goals is now more important than defending and it’s likely their opponents will sit back and protect what they already have.
Things Must Change
Spurs lined up with five at the back in London and that was a real surprise, the boss eager to avoid the gaps in his defence exploited by Man City, we would guess. It would be harsh to blame him too as Spurs came within a VAR disallowed goal from being knocked out. Having said that, it proved a failed gamble and Ajax are not Man City, especially if you don’t give them space. The Dutch don’t attack their opponent’s goal with the same pace as The Cityzens. It wouldn’t be out of line to say Tottenham may just have fared better had they met Ajax head on and played like a side who had the home advantage that night.
We’ll never know, but what we do know is this tie will be decided in Amsterdam on 8 May and it’s still there to be won. Ajax can’t just pack the defence and hope Spurs don’t find a way through as their opponents will, eventually. They have the class to do so and the experience in picking apart opponents down the flanks.
Bookies have a home win as favourite, which is what we expected to find when approaching this match. There’s 6/5 at William Hill and that’s better than the 11/10 you’ll get with most other firms. The draw trades 13/5 at Bet365 and Unibet are the go-to shop if backing Tottenham, their 47/20 the best available.