Ajax v Spurs Tips & Betting Preview
Can Son spark Spurs' semi-final surge?
Ajax v Spurs
It’s easy to forget how close Spurs came to crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages.
Facing a severely weakened Barcelona at the Nou Camp for their final group match—coupled with Inter’s untimely slip-up against PSV—allowed Mauricio Pochettino’s men to fight another day. But they head to Ajax on Wednesday, not necessarily requiring another miracle—that would be slightly disingenuous—but they’re certainly staring down the barrel.
Looking at how Ajax dealt with Real Madrid and Juventus in their respective second-legs surely means Spurs are doomed. Right? Well, this is arguably the first time there’s been real pressure on this Ajax side; it’s the first time they’ve gone from plucky outsiders to genuine favourites, and it remains to be seen how Erik ten Hag’s young side will cope with these different pressures.
That 20 minute Ajax blitz at the start of last week’s first-leg in North London was an absolute joy to watch, and if they perform to those levels again, Spurs are finished. I do ultimately believe Ajax will qualify (without necessarily winning on the night tomorrow), but $1.33 is not a price that interests me. Instead, my first tip is for Ajax to pick up at least one card in each half.
The hosts are the dirtiest team remaining in the competition (25 yellows and one red), and with a lead, they’ll be looking to protect at all costs, they won’t think twice about committing cynical fouls to stop Spurs in their tracks.
Next up, I expect both teams to score.
Obviously, if Spurs don’t score, they crash out, but the return of Son Heung-Min is an immeasurably big boost to their chances of breaching André Onana’s defences on Wednesday.
Just one of Ajax’s last six Champions League matches (the victory against Spurs last week) ended with both teams not scoring, and with second-legs generally more open than first-legs, BTTS seems a high probability.
Only Borussia Dortmund have failed to score against Spurs at home—even that was an absolute onslaught, where all Poch’s men were required to do was defend—but this is another prospect entirely.
As I mentioned, Son’s return is massive for Spurs, and his absence last week noticeably blunted the hosts’ attack. In fairness, they looked fairly handy just lumping the ball to Fernando Llorente, but Poch will be delighted to return to the Shock and Awe style of football that worked so well against Manchester City – with Son spearheading.
At $2.60, I’m backing the Korean to score at any time.