Published: Wed, May 01, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Champions League semi-final first-leg

Champions League semi-final first-leg

Two teams with limited financial resources who were supposed to struggle to make it out of their Champions League group.

He is nearly unstoppable going by his form this season, having scored 46 goals in all competitions and ten of them have come in the Champions League.

Few would have imagined that Ajax, upon embarking on their Champions League campaign back on 25 July in the second qualifying round would progress to the heady heights of the semi-finals.

It was a frustrating warm-up for Tottenham's Champions League semi-final first leg against Ajax in north London on Tuesday.

Spurs have never gone beyond the semi-finals of the Champions League and are hoping to become the 40th different team to reach the final. A vital point at Camp Nou on matchday six secured their place in the round of 16 and signified a statement of intent.

"We get 10 million (euros) for playing in (Dutch first division) Eredivisie, and they get many more millions for being in the Premier League". That is a sharp £70m increase on the year before, largely due to using Wembley Stadium as a temporary home and an improvement in Champions League performance, although a considerable amount of their new stadium's cost is in the form of debt.

Spurs welcome Ajax to the state of the art Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Tuesday evening in what promises to be a fascinating tactical battle between two of the most forward-thinking sides in Europe. "Until now, they played against obviously two giants, Real Madrid and Juventus", he added.

"When you achieve things it's because you dream them".

The previously relatively little known names of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech, Nicolás Tagliafico, David Neres and veteran Dusan Tadic have all flourished in Ten Hag's 4-2-3-1 formation. Spurs are determined to show they can still flourish without the England captain but his absence has to count as another setback against Pochettino's side.

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was absent with a reported injury as Pochettino made four changes, including resting Kieran Tripper, Victor Wanyama and Fernando Llorente. "They will need Harry against Ajax".

Alternatively, I would suggest considering Dele Alli to be the man to do damage to Erik ten Hag's surprise package.

Barcelona are chasing a treble this season after emerging champions of Spain again for the 26th time in the club's history, so the motivation will swing more in their favour.

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