Two match-ups, one more predictable than the other, and neither result guaranteed. The Champions League has served up a box office semi-final line-up once again.
Can Liverpool still be fighting on all fronts come mid-May? Will this young Ajax team defy all odds and reach an historic Champions League final?
Read on for our first-leg preview, and a nod to the best Champions League odds for each game.
Barcelona v Liverpool
The two best sides left in the competition will have to face each other for a spot in the final.
On first glance, the tie seems to favour Liverpool – an all-important away-goal on Wednesday would set up a monumental second-leg occasion just one week on. The Reds’ 12th man in the Anfield supporters will no doubt have a part to play regardless of the first result.
We can’t speak about this tie unless we talk about one player in particular: Lionel Messi. Liverpool are the better team on paper but the nature of the Argentinian’s performances across both legs will indeed swing the result.
The little magician has netted 33 goals in La Liga alone this season and, despite playing a deeper roaming role for the Catalan side, he leads the race for Europe’s golden shoe in a bid to retain the crown once more.
We think Liverpool have a great chance to get at Barcelona’s defence and cause problems, however, and we’re looking at two score draw results. You can get 1-1 and 2-2 full time result at 13/2 and 11/1 respectively with Grosvenorsport.com.
Tottenham v Ajax
Any other tie in the competition and the English neutral would likely be rooting for Tottenham in this one, but the romanticism in their opponents’ progression through the competition trumps that of any of the three remaining teams.
And the route to the final for Ajax has never looked clearer. Deservedly progressing past Real Madrid, some will be forgiven for thinking Juventus could have been one step too far for the young Dutch side, but they passed with flying colours.
There’s no question this depleted Tottenham squad presents the most favourable of opposition from the teams left in the tournament, and by far their most welcoming test of the knockout rounds.
One thing to remember – Ajax will become the youngest team to reach a final of the Champions League since its inception should they get past Spurs over two-legs.
With Spurs increasingly legless from fixture overload and major doubts in the fitness of key players, we see Ajax heading into the second-leg with a strong advantage. You can get Ajax to win and both teams to score at 11/2 with Grosvenorsport.com.