In the first of the Champions League semi-finals, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham play host to Erik ten Hag’s Ajax side on Wednesday morning.
The Dutch side have been giant killers during the knockout stages of the Champions League, with huge victories over Real Madrid and Juventus.
Ajax lost at home to Madrid 2-1, but came out and stunned the reigning champions 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, ending Madrid’s attempts at winning a fourth consecutive crown.
Ajax also defeated Juventus in Italy in the second leg of their tie, helping them to their first semi-final since 1997.
Tottenham on the other hand comfortably saw off Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16, before a tense quarter-final matchup with Manchester City saw them just edge through after VAR correctly denied City a 90th minute winner.
The Spurs will be up against it in the first leg however, as they’ll be missing key men.
Heung Min-Son will miss the opener through suspension, while star striker Harry Kane will likely miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Moussa Sissoko and Jan Vertonghen are also in doubt, as Pochettino will give them every chance to prove this fitness.
The match-up also sees some familiar faces return to play their old side, as Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez and Vertonghen all represented the Dutch giants throughout their careers.
Ajax have been impressive outside of Holland during the knockout stages so far, and they may be good enough to take something back home from this clash.
In arguably the more high-profile semi-final, two of the world’s biggest sides face off when Barcelona host Liverpool on Thursday morning.
Both sides enter the fixture in hot domestic form, with Barcelona’s last league loss coming on November 11, while Liverpool’s was on January 3 against Manchester City.
The focus on this fixture will certainly revolve around the two former Reds in Spain, with Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho facing their former sides for the first time.
The reception they receive at Anfield during the second leg will certainly be something to watch out for.
Barcelona have found their Champions League knockout stage run a little easy to date, dispatching Lyon 5-1 in the round of 16, while trouncing Manchester United 4-0 in the quarter finals.
Liverpool had to work for it during their 3-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich in the round of 16, but were too much for Porto last round, with a 6-1 aggregate win.
The Reds failed to score away from Anfield in two of their three away fixtures during the group stages, although put a combined seven goals past Munich and Porto and Germany and Portugal respectively over the knockout stages.
Barcelona have only conceded two goals at the Camp Nou across the entire campaign, but the trio of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will surely have something to say about that.
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Champions League Semi Final Preview – Leg 2 Liverpool v Barcelona (Aggregate: 0-3) Anfield, Wednesday, 5am If Liverpool didn’t already have one of the biggest challenges in world football in front of them, they’ll have to pull off the miracle without two of their devastating front three. Robert Firmino has been ruled out after making […]