After a thrilling first round of UEFA Champions League semi-finals, the return legs will be played this Wednesday and Thursday morning (AEST). Barcelona and Ajax are in promising positions heading into the return legs and will both only need a draw this week to advance to the UCL Final.
Catch our preview and betting tips for both of the semi-final matchups below.
Liverpool will be extremely disappointed with the result in the first leg against Barcelona last week. They were comfortably defeated 3-0 in Barcelona as Lionel Messi slotted two goals and will need to become just the third team in European Cup/Champions League history to come from three goals in a semi-final matchup to progress to the final.
Barcelona will be looking to make their first Champions League final since winning the trophy over Juventus back in the 2014-15 season. They have been completely dominant so far this season, going undefeated in the Champions League through 11 games and sitting atop the Spanish La Liga table with a 25-8-3 record.
Barcelona has won both of their previous trips to Anfield in the Champions League, once in 2001 and once in 2007. Liverpool have been one of the standout teams in the world this season but coming back from a 3-0 deficit is a massive ask. We think they win this game but fail to progress to the next round.
In the more interesting of the two semi-final clashes, Dutch side Ajax will face off against Tottenham from 5am Thursday morning. Ajax were fantastic in their away leg last week, claiming a 1-0 win and will be strong favourites to advance as they head back to Amsterdam for the 2nd leg. They’ll be looking to make their first Champions League final since the 1995-96 season, where they lost to Juventus in penalties.
Tottenham are battling some key injuries at the moment, most notably to star striker Harry Kane, who will likely be ruled out for the clash. They have lost their last two Premier League games in a row and are in danger of slipping out of the top four after having won just three of their last 10. Their focus might be on the upcoming final weekend of EPL fixtures, where they will need to ensure they don’t get dominated by Everton to secure a top four place.
Ajax start as $2.05 favourites here but with just a one goal deficit, the Spurs should be extremely aggressive early in an attempt to erase it. If there’s any time to jump on an underdog to advance, we think it’s here.
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