The Ajax danger men who could end Spurs’ Champions League dream
Ajax have been the surprise of this season’s Champions League. The Eredivisie giants have swept all aside with some swashbuckling football.
They held Bayern Munich to a pair of draws in the group stages, then dumped reigning champions Real Madrid out with a sensational display of counter attacking football in the round of 16.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus couldn’t tame the Dutch superstars in the quarter-finals.
Now Tottenham Hotspur stand between Ajax and a first Champions League Final since 1996. Spurs may have Premier League clout behind them, but we’ve picked out three of Ajax’s danger men for Tuesday night’s semi-final first-leg…
Frenkie de Jong – MF – 21
If Barcelona are willing to shell out £70m+ on a player still not 22-years-old, then he’s got to be good, right?
A player very much for the modern game, de Jong launches Ajax’s forays forward from a deep-lying midfield role, while also sheltering the defence.
De Jong boasts great vision and passing ability, and if Spurs leave him unchecked, the 21-year-old could dictate the game.
Dusan Tadic – FW – 30
He only scored 23 goals in four seasons with Southampton, but Dusan Tadic has already banged in 34 in his first campaign with Ajax.
The attacking midfielder has been at the forefront of Ajax’s sensational attacking play. Tadic has built up a terrific trio up front alongside the talented David Neres and Hakim Ziyech this term.
Tadic was sensational with a goal and two assists to dump Real out at the Santiago Bernabeu, and another such performance could be Spurs’ undoing. He has the ability to drift in-between defenders, and his excellent link-up play makes him arguably Ajax’s key man.
Matthijs de Ligt – DF – 19
Matthijs de Ligt is the beating heart of this mighty Ajax side. The centre-half is a remarkable talent, and he’s still in his teens.
The 19-year-old has already been handed the Ajax captaincy, and boasts 15 Dutch caps to his name too.
De Ligt has missed just three games all season, and secured Ajax’s passage into the semis with a towering header in the previous round versus Juve.
Tottenham will have a job getting the better of one of the game’s greatest defensive prospects – at both ends of the pitch.
Hakim Ziyech – FW – 26
The Spurs defence might have enough problems with Tadic, before we bring Hakim Ziyech into the picture.
The Moroccan international boasts twists, turns and trickery in abundance, while a wand of a left foot can change games in an instant. The 26-year-old has pinged in 16 goals and 15 assists in the Eredivisie, while also scoring in both legs against Real Madrid in Europe.
Ziyech usually plays on the right-hand side of Ajax’s front three, and given his performances this term, he’s going to give Danny Rose a difficult evening in North London.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.