Spurs v Ajax: Depleted Tottenham Desperate to Stay in Contention
Most Spurs fans will feel that the draw has been kind to us here and that may well be the case. Over two legs, there is a better chance of progressing and in a one-off final against either Liverpool or Barcelona, anything can happen.
But the Dutch have put out the mighty Real Madrid and Juventus and like us, they will be happy to have avoided the teams in the other half. The journey begins on Tuesday at the new White Hart Lane but can Tottenham gain enough of an advantage to take back to Amsterdam?
Harry Kane continues to miss out as we know but the concern for most of us is the absence of Son Heung-Min. Sonny picked up a booking in the second leg against Manchester City and is now suspended for Tuesday night.
There’s no Vincent Janssen either while otherwise, the roll call of absentees is likely to be a familiar one. Exact team news had yet to be confirmed at the time of writing but expect Harry Winks, Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela to be sitting this one out.
There are odds against prices on all three possible outcomes but Spurs do start as favourites here. The home side can be backed at 27/20 with Unibet and 888Sport while a win for Ajax is on offer at 21/10 with William Hill and Black Type. Completing the result betting is the draw which you can find at best industry odds of 5/2 with Unibet and 888Sport once again.
Those are the odds for the result in 90 minutes but what about the To Qualify market? This is currently as tight as it can be with both teams listed at the same price of 10/11. BetFred have that figure for Ajax while Ladbrokes and William Hill come in at 10/11 for Tottenham.
In a two-leg tie it’s perceived that the disadvantage comes when playing the first game at home and that could be the case here. Spurs have to win it but their two main sources of goals are sitting it out for different reasons. With Kane and Son Heung-Min absent, we can still take an advantage to Amsterdam but will it be enough in terms of the overall tie?
Other Side Bets
Tottenham still lead the first goalscorer betting despite losing those two main goal threats. Fernando Llorente starts as the favourite and you can claim the Spaniard at odds of 5/1 with William Hill and SportingBet.
Next we come to Dusan Tadic who will be familiar to Premier League watchers after a spell with Southampton. The Ajax star is on offer at best odds of 6/1 with Unibet and 10Bet while both Kasper Dolberg and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar can be picked up at 13/2 with SportingBet.
There are some promising outside punts on both sides here: Christian Eriksen will always be a threat from distance and you can claim the Danish midfielder at 10/1 with 888Sport and Bethard. Look out too for Ajax’s dangerous David Neres who was on target in the last round. Neres is on offer at 17/2 with William Hill and Coral to open the scoring or you can back him at 10/3 with Black Type for an anytime goal.
Looking at other popular side bets, Both Teams to Score is on offer at best odds of 5/7 with SportNation and RedZoneSports and given that Ajax have scored 14 in their last five, that could be one of the safer options on the night.
Total Goals will also attract attention and you can go over the 2.5 line at 10/11 with BetFred. Alternatively, extending that to over 3.5 will bring best industry odds of 47/20 with Unibet and 888Sport.
Finally, while we’re expecting a few goals on the night, the final result could be a tight one so we’ll finish off with a quick look at the Winning Margin market. Spurs to win by one goal is quoted at a top price of 62/17 with SportNation while Ajax by one is at a best of 15/4 with RedZoneSports.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was, according to the gossip columns, a regular transfer target for Spurs around 5-7 years ago. From Ajax, he left for Real Madrid in 2009 and has since enjoyed spells at AC Milan and Schalke 04 before returning to Amsterdam two years ago.
He’s 35 now and not always a regular starter but The Hunter has maintained his prolific scoring stats in his second spell with Ajax. The striker has 20 goals in 39 matches in all competitions and while there are goal threats from elsewhere, we think Huntelaar is the biggest threat on Tuesday night.
Head to Head
Despite both teams having a long history in European competitions, they’ve only been drawn together on one previous occasion. Back in 1981, Spurs and Ajax met in the European Cup Winners Cup with Tottenham winning both legs.
The first leg in Amsterdam resulted in a 3-1 victory and with a comfortable lead, Spurs progressed to the next round with a 3-0 win at White Hart Lane. A repeat performance would do just nicely but is there enough firepower in this depleted Tottenham squad?
We stay positive but the defeat to West Ham on Saturday raises a number of issues – firstly the ability to score. One goal in two home league games to Brighton and West Ham isn’t ideal coming into a match against one of Europe’s form teams. Kane and Sonny are absent so it’s down to the midfield, notably Alli, Eriksen and Moura plus Llorente to switch on up top.
With so much firepower in the Ajax side I have the usual worries and can only hope that our European adventure continues. As for tips, while we’ve established Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as the dangerman, David Neres looks a good bet for an anytime goal. We’re looking at Spurs to open the scoring from somewhere and while we are hopeful of a win, we do expect the Dutch to find the net at some point.
With that in mind, we’ll settle for that Neres anytime goal plus Both Teams to Score as we look to stay in contention going to Amsterdam for the second leg.
- Both Teams to Score at 5/7 with SportNation
- David Neres to score any time at 10/3 with Black Type