Champions League Betting: How 250/1 Ajax defied the odds to reach the semi-finals
Matthijs de Ligt Ajax 2018-19
The Eredivisie side have beaten Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the final four, where they will meet Spurs for a place in Madrid on June 1

Whilst Barcelona vs Liverpool was a Champions League semi-final that perhaps some people would have seen coming, Ajax vs Tottenham probably wasn't.

Spurs’ victory over Manchester City on away goals following a 4-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium was nothing short of spectacular, and a correct score bet would have paid out at 66/1 (67.0) with bet365.

However, it is Ajax’s run to the final four that has captured the hearts of many, with the Dutch side’s outright odds shortening from 250/1 (251.0) pre-tournament all the way down to just 9/2 (5.50) ahead of the semis.

Dusan Tadic Ajax Real Madrid

After finishing second in Group E behind Bayern Munich, who they drew 3-3 with in their final group game, Ajax were paired with reigning champions Real Madrid and were still 150/1 (151.0) to win the tournament.

Even without Cristiano Ronaldo, Real could still be a deadly force. That proved to be the case in the first leg as the Spaniards justified their 6/5 (2.20) pre-match odds to take a 2-1 lead back to Madrid.

Ajax - now out at 200/1 (201.0) - refused to lay down and roll over by pulling off one of the most shocking upsets in recent memory as Dusan Tadic inspired them to a stunning 4-1 victory in the Spanish capital.

Erik ten Hag’s men were 18/5 (4.60) to win that game and out at 9/2 (5.50) to qualify, with a 4-1 away victory priced at 50/1 (51.0). bet365 shortened them to 25/1 (26.0) in the outright betting but that price did not last long.

Ajax celebrating Juventus Champions League

Just over a week later the price went back out to 40/1 (41.0) thanks to being drawn against Juventus, who emerged from their last 16 clash against Atletico courtesy of a Ronaldo hat-trick.

Juve were installed as 9/25 (1.36) favourites to make the semi-finals whilst Ajax could be backed at 2/1 (3.0), and that price drifted out 49/20 (3.45) following a 1-1 draw at the Johan Cryuff Arena.

It looked to be all over bar the shouting when Ronaldo headed home in the first half of the second leg to make it 1-0, but the 33-time Eredivisie champions scored twice without reply to pull off a stunning win.

That shortened them to 7/1 (8.0) in the outright betting, still some way behind the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City, but the latter’s elimination on Wednesday caused Ajax to be cut to 9/2 (5.50).

bet365 go 11/5 (3.20) that Ajax win the first leg at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and 10/11 (1.91) to qualify, with Tottenham also available to make it to the final at the same price. 

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly.

Betting Banner - Best Bet Check out the latest Champions League odds at bet365

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Real Madrid


RMA 1 - 1 ATH
SEV 1 - 2 RMA
RMA 2 - 1 RAY
VAL 1 - 0 RMA
MCI 4 - 0 RMA
RMA 1 - 0 GET
RMA 1 - 1 MCI
RMA 2 - 1 OSA
RSO 2 - 0 RMA
GIR 4 - 2 RMA


TWE 3 - 1 AJX
AJX 3 - 1 UTR
GRO 2 - 3 AJX
AJX 0 - 0 AZ
AJX 1 - 1 * PSV
PSV 3 - 0 AJX
AJX 3 - 1 EMM
AJX 4 - 0 FOR
FEY 1 - 2 AJX
GAE 0 - 0 AJX
Head to Head
8 Matches (0 Draws)
7 Total wins 1
3 Home wins 0
4 Away wins 1
Last 5 Matches
4 Wins
0 Draw
1 Wins
RMA 1 - 4 AJX
AJX 1 - 2 RMA
RMA 4 - 1 AJX
AJX 1 - 4 RMA
AJX 0 - 3 RMA
14 Goals Scored 7
Games Over 2.5 Goals 5 / 5
Both Teams Scored 4 / 5
Team Comparison
  • Attack
  • Defence
  • Distribution
  • Discipline
Player Comparison

Match Facts

  1. 100% of teams to have won 2-1 away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout match have progressed to the next round (8 previous cases).
  2. Real Madrid have won their last seven games in all competitions against Ajax (22 goals for, 3 against), the best ever run for the Spanish side against a single opponent in European competition. Ajax’s last victory against the Merengues was back in November 1995: 2-0 in the Champions League group stages at the Bernabeu with goals from Jari Litmanen and Patrick Kluivert.
  3. It’s 22 years since Ajax progressed through a Champions League knockout stage tie – in the 1996-97 campaign when the Dutch side prevailed against Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals before being eliminated by Juventus in the semi-finals.
  4. Real Madrid have won the Champions League four times in the last five seasons. Juventus were the last team to eliminate Real in a Champions League knockout phase, back in the 2014-15 semi-finals.
  5. Real Madrid have reached the Champions League semi-finals in each of the last eight campaigns, a record run in the history of the competition.
  6. Real Madrid have lost two of their last five home games in the Champions League (W2 D1), as many as in their previous 48 at the Bernabeu combined (W40 D6 L2).
  7. Ajax’s last away win in the Champions League knockout stages was in March 1997 – it was in Madrid, against Atlético (3-2).
  8. 11 of Ajax’s 12 goals in this season’s Champions League have been scored in the second-half (92%).
  9. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has either scored or assisted a goal in each of his six Champions League matches against Ajax (4 goals, 4 assists). In the first leg, he became only the fourth player to reach the 60-goal tally in the competition after Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Raul.
  10. Four of Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio’s five Champions League goals have been scored in the knockout stages.
  11. In the first leg against Real Madrid, Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech scored his first Champions League goal with his 30th shot in the competition.
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