Home comforts for Ajax

Mauricio Pochettino

Ajax can beat Tottenham again when they meet in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Ajax do not need to win Wednesday’s return game in Amsterdam but the case for them doing so is compelling.

The Dutch outfit have won 21 of their 26 home fixtures this season, losing only once.

Meanwhile, Spurs’ away form is dire and, following the strength-sapping defeat with nine men at Bournemouth on Saturday, they have now lost nine of their last 10 on the road.

In this competition, Tottenham have won just one of five away games this season and, of their last 20 away games in Europe, they have tasted victory only five times.

Injury problems continue to dog the north Londoners, with Harry Kane still the key absentee but far from the only one. However, the good news is that Heung-son Min is available having missed the first leg due to a ban.

He will be needed as Spurs managed just one shot on target in the first leg, with Ajax the better team despite an improved second-half display by Mauricio Pochettino’s team.

Ajax to win the second leg @ 23/20

The Premier League side will look to build on that but, needing to come forward, they could be exposed at the back by a side who have scored in every Champions League game this season and are adept on the counter-attack with their slick passing game.

In the circumstances, Ajax look perfectly-acceptable 23/20 shots to win again.

With referee Felix Brych in charge, it could also be worth venturing into the cards markets.

The German has shown at least four cards in nine of his 10 European appointments this season and that should certainly be competitive given what is at stake.

Joel Veltman to be carded @ 33/10

The player who stands out in this market is Ajax right-back Joel Veltman.

An injury-hit season means he has started just six games and been booked in three of those. The cards have actually come in his last three matches, including the first leg.

Looking further back, he picked up nine cards in 36 appearances last season and 14 in 44 outings in 2016/17.

Spurs have to attack at some stage and, with Danny Rose venturing forward from left wing-back and the dangerous Son naturally drifting left, Veltman could have plenty to deal with.

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