Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Can Spurs overturn the first leg deficit
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Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Can Spurs overturn the first leg deficit

Tottenham Hotspur travel to Amsterdam with their hopes of making their first Champions League Final in the balance

Matthew Wojciow

Tottenham Hotspur take on Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena in the second leg of the Champions League Semi-Final. 

Liverpool await the victors of this game after their heroics at Anfield last night. 

Tottenham travel to Amsterdam needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Donny Van De Beek's goal after 15 minutes was enough to give the Dutch giants the lead going into this tie. 

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The New Golden Generation 

This Ajax team have received a lot of plaudits this season and rightly so. They could achieve a historic treble this season if they are able to get through tonight and if they beat Liverpool in the final. Ajax picked up the Dutch Cup on Sunday, with a 4-0 victory over Willem II. Ajax also sit at the top of the Eredivisie on goal difference, with just two fixture to go. 

The Dutch giants have also gone above and beyond in the Champions League by getting to this point. They went to both Juventus and holders Real Madrid and got results. 

Players like Van De Beek, David Neres and Frenkie De Jong have received a majority of the attention but Ajax have talented players throughout the squad. Winger Hakim Ziyech has scored or assisted in four out of Ajax's last five Champions League games so could prove to be a difference maker tonight. 

Ajax will be hoping to reach their first Champions League final in 23 years and boss Erik ten Hag had this to say on the game: "Well you play against a Premier League team, the intensity is a little bit different. We saw that against Juventus and Real, in the first match the team has to step up to a higher level.

The away goal was important last week. We will play in an arena with an incredible atmosphere and we hope that will help us"

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The Biggest game of the Season has arrived

Tottenham Hotspur are hoping to reach their first ever Champions League final. The closest the club had come before was back in the days of the European Cup when they were knocked out by Benfica at this stage in 1962. 

Tottenham have ridden their luck at times this season in the Champions League, as at one point they were just 12 minutes away from exiting the competition in the group stage. They pulled off the impossible and qualified in second place in the group after taking just one point from their opening three games, joining just seven other teams to do so in the competition's history. Spurs emphatically beat Borussia Dortmund, 4-0 over the two legs in the last 16.

Spurs had VAR to thank for their Quarter-Final victory over Manchester City after Raheem Sterling had looked to have won it for the Citizens before it was ruled out for an offside against Sergio Aguero. 

Tottenham have looked shaky, to say the least in the league with no points from their last six on the road with their last win in all competitions was the win over Dortmund at the start of March. 

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has the belief that his side can overturn the deficit. This is what he said on the tie in his pre-match press conference: "To be in the semi-final with a negative result from the first leg makes it difficult for tomorrow but it is still open, we know very well that we need to win the game to have the opportunity to be in the final, that’s the objective. Tomorrow we have to perform to our best and to have some luck because of course in football you have to have some luck. It’s an exciting game ahead.

I think it’s an exciting moment for us to be in a semi-final. I think we need to enjoy and have more freedom to play and to start the game the way we want to start, the approach was really poor from our side in the first leg,  I think we need to feel more freedom to play we have nothing to lose from the beginning. We know we need to win and try."

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Team News

Neres has recovered from a foot injury and is available for selection. The Dutch side have a full squad at their disposal.

Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela return from injury and could feature tonight. Heung-Min Son returns from suspension. Davinson Sanchez and Harry Kane have travelled with the squad but are unlikely to play any part in this game.