UEFA Champions League Semifinals: Preview And OddsPublished April 30, 2019 by Sol FH
Tottenham vs. Ajax, Barcelona vs. Liverpool; the best four of 2019 ready for battle. Tottenham and Ajax tonight at 20:00 GMT.
The final four teams in the UEFA Champions League are ready to go to war. Tottenham, Ajax, Barcelona, and Liverpool have made it to the semifinal round and will play two legs to see which teams will be this year's finalists. The first match will begin tonight between the Spurs and Ajax at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and, tomorrow night, also at 20:00 GMT, Barcelona will host the Reds at Camp Nou.
Each of the four teams remaining in this year's competition has had very different paths to get to the semifinals. In the Quarterfinals, Barca and Liverpool were the two teams that made a statement and destroyed their competition. Barcelona beat Manchester United 4-0 over the two legs - Messi had two goals, and Luke Shaw and Phillipe Coutinho each scored as well. Liverpool beat Porto 6-1 in the Aggregate which was the most decisive winning margin of all quarterfinal matches. Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino both scored in the first leg, the latter following up with a second goal in the second leg, but this time Sadio Mane, Mohamed Saleh, Virgil Van Dijk all joined in the scoring.
Ajax vs. Juventus was probably the most exciting of the quarterfinals, as Ajax, the underdog, was able to outlast Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring barrage and win 3-2 when all was said and done. Tottenham was also a surprise, as they were the underdog against Manchester City in their quarterfinal tie. The Hot Spur got the best of City in the first leg at home, winning 1-0. The real action was in the second leg as City poured on the heat and won the match 4-3, but the Spurs won on away goals after the 4-4 draw after both matches.
Tottenham vs. Ajax
Tonight the Spurs are the favorites to win, but, the young, fearless, and talented squad that Erik ten Hag has put together is instilling fear into their competition. Matthijs de Ligt is only 19 years old; he was the youngest ever Captain to play in a Champions League knockout match back in March when Ajax beat Real Madrid. It was the same young gun that scored the winning goal against Juventus in the last round. Ajax has stuck to its core in an age of mega-rich superclubs, and, they are winning! To put things into perspective, Ajax's total wages bill comes to around $421 million. Compared to the $930 million Tottenham price tag, the Reds' $953 million, and, Barcelona's $1.18 billion...Ajax is a reminder that hard work, innovation, and building young talent does work.
With all that said, Ajax's most significant challenge of the competition starts tonight, and they are yet again the underdogs. bet365 Sports has them at 3.20 for the win, while Tottenham is in the driver's seat at 2.40. A punters' paradise as Ajax has done very well in the underdog position throughout the tournament, turning some significant profits for those that wisely wagered upon them.
Barcelona vs. Liverpool
The two heavyweights remaining in this year's competition and they face one another in the semifinals - what a treat! The Blaugrana are at home tonight, and Liverpool must try to do the impossible in the first leg. Barcelona has lost only one match at home over 2018/19 across all competitions, and it was a freak loss to Real Betis on 11.11.2018. They just do not lose at home, but Liverpool is such a strong team that they could win this semifinal by a big margin.
The Reds are 1-point off of City for the top spot in the Premier League, and two wins away from a Champions League Finals berth. Barcelona has already been declared the winner of the La Liga table with 83-points, two losses, with two matches left to play before the end of the year.
bet365 Sports has posted its odds, well in favor of Barcelona at 1.90, but again, a punters' dream would be a Liverpool win at 4.20.