Donny van de Beek’s well-worked goal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last Tuesday is the difference between the sides ahead of a return match in the Netherlands, though Erik ten Hag’s side may feel they should have a bigger advantage to protect as they go home.
Ajax won the KNVB Beker on Sunday by defeating Willem II 4-0 in Rotterdam, offering a further boost to their confidence, while Spurs suffered a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth, conceding late on in a game they played a large portion of with just nine men.
Can the Premier League club rediscover their form and with it a spot at the Wanda Metropolitano?
|Game||Ajax vs Tottenham|
|Date||Wednesday, May 8|
|Time||8:00pm BST / 3:00pm EST|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|TNT USA / Univision Deportes||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be shown on BT Sport 2 and streamed on the BT Sport Live app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Onana, Lamprou, Varela|
|Defenders||De Ligt, Blind, Sinkgraven, Veltman, Kristensen, Magallan, Mazraoui, Tagliafico|
|Midfielders||Schone, Van de Beek, De Jong, De Wit|
|Forwards||Dolberg, Ziyech, Tadic, Neres, Huntelaar, Labyad, Ekkelenkamp|
Ajax starting XI: Onana; Mazraoui, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Schone, De Jong; Ziyech, Van de Beek, Neres; Tadic
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga|
|Defenders||Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Davies|
|Midfielders||Dier, Wanyama, Sissoko, Eriksen, Marsh, Skipp, Lamela, Alli|
|Forwards||Llorente, Son, Lucas|
Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Sissoko; Eriksen, Dele, Lucas; Son
Betting & Match Odds
Ajax are 13/10 favourites to win with Bet365. Tottenham are outsiders at 21/10 while a draw is available at 27/10.
When the dust settles on this campaign for Tottenham, it will be considered a successful one. A top-four finish in the Premier League has virtually been achieved, while the club could not have hoped for much better than a run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Spurs, though, have lost nine of their last 14 games, winning only four, nearly losing their spot among Europe’s elite next season and jeopardising their hopes in the European Cup against Ajax.
While the campaign will be remembered as a success, it threatens to be one tarred by unfulfilled potential, both domestically and in Europe. If their hopes of the Premier League have long been lost, that is not the case in the Champions League.
Liverpool await the winners of this tie in what has been the Year of the Comeback in the competition.
Spurs were the club that really started the trend, recovering from a seemingly impossible position in the group stage to dramatically seal their place in the knockout rounds.
Before the Reds rallied on Tuesday to come back and beat Barcelona having lost the first leg 3-0 at Camp Nou, Ajax were the undisputed kings of the recovery in the competition.
Both Real Madrid and Juventus – hopefuls to win the whole thing – had left Amsterdam feeling content with their work only to be defeated at home, in the Spaniards’ case a 4-1 thumping that will remain engrained in the history of the two clubs for very different reasons.
Now the Dutch side face the challenge of being frontrunners – and possibly even favourites – in the knockout stages, something they have not experienced previously.
With a famously offensive mindset, coach Erik ten Hag will not allow his side to take a step back.
“We will step onto the pitch with the score 0-0 in our minds,” he said. “I want my team to reach a higher level than we already have reached this season, and to win.
"We have to win the match and we'll play to our strengths. We have to win. It's a new game we have to play.”
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, still clearly believes in his side’s chances after being drawn into musing over his future should they go all the way.
“To win the Champions League with Tottenham, in this circumstance, in this season, maybe I need to think a little bit to do something different in the future, for sure,” he said.
Wednesday’s game will not make or break Spurs’ season, but it could provide a pathway to an incredible finale.