It’s been quite the tournament in the Champions League so far and as the Semi Finals approach we can expect plenty more twists and turns.
Barcelona remain the favourites having stormed through the Round of 16 and Quarter Final but they won’t find it straightforward with a strong Liverpool side, Tottenham Hotspur and an Ajax side who have already caused plenty of shocks still in the running.
Champions League Semi Final Fixtures
April 30, 2019:
Tottenham Hotspur v Ajax
May 1, 2019:
Barcelona v Liverpool
May 7, 2019:
Liverpool v Barcelona
May 8, 2019:
Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur
The Champions League Contenders
But which team has the best chance of winning the Champions League?
We review the remaining four clubs’ chances and what the bookmakers are pricing them ahead of the final in Madrid on June 1.
Spurs face a difficult task in the Semi Final, and while they might feel like they received the best draw, after watching Ajax’s progress through the Champions League, they’ll certainly be wary.
Mauricio Pochettino has navigated his side to the final four for the first time since the 1960s, stunning Manchester City in one of the most thrilling finale’s to a match in years.
Spurs will be without talisman Harry Kane for the rest of the season, which has seen most football betting apps price them down slightly.
William Hill have at 10/11 to qualify, just ahead of Ajax, while they’re 7/2 to win the entire competition.
If they are to qualify they’ll need the likes of Son Heung-min, who has been one of the standout players in the Premier League this season, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to really cause problems for the Dutch side.
Son was instrumental in them going beyond Manchester City and will be the man to provide the goals in the second leg, with the South Korean required to sit out the home leg due to suspension.
Harry from theboyhotspur.com says “Saturday’s loss to West Ham will have not helped preparations for this game. With Son suspended we turn Llorente who came up with the goods vs City… Under the lights of the Tottenham Stadium, I have every faith he can do it again. I’m going for a 1-0 Spurs win.”
Odds to win the Champions League: 7/2
Ajax have certainly been the side to cause the upsets this season having knocked out Juventus and Real Madrid.
Their young side have been the standout side with their pace a thorn in the side of every defence they’ve encountered.
Against Spurs they’ll certainly look to do that again, attacking the likes of Kieran Trippier, who could prove Spurs’ weak link.
Counter-attacking they have been lethal with David Neres, Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech, as Frenkie de Jong pulls the strings at sets them free. They’ve qualified from both knockout stages by impressing in the away leg and are good value to be the first visiting team to succeed at the new Spurs Stadium.
Get through to the final and it’s difficult to say. You’d expect Barcelona and Liverpool to be too strong, but it’s a one-off game and anything could happen. We’re having a punt on Ajax as runners up.
Odds to win the Champions League: 9/2
Barcelona are of course favourites to win the tournament after comfortably dispatching Manchester United in the last round.
Lionel Messi continues to be the one who’ll change the game in a single moment and he’ll certainly be Virgil van Dijk’s biggest test of the season.
The La Liga leaders are 7/10 to win the first leg, although have drawn with Spurs at the Camp Nou already this season.
Keeping Liverpool out at home will certainly be key, who on their day have one of, if not the, best attacking three in Europe. Both a 1-0 and 2-0 Barcelona win can be wagered on at 17/2, while a Barcelona win and BTTS looks good value at 21/10.
To win the tournament Barcelona are 6/4 favourites, while it’s likely whichever team comes out of this tie will go on to lift the trophy.
The Reds have been phenomenal in the knockout stages after only just qualifying with victory over Napoli.
From there though they’ve been brilliant in both the Premier League and Champions League. Prioritising one of those could see them come unstuck in the other and it’s thought that Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool fans would rather take home the domestic title.
That could hand the tie to Barcelona, although you can never write off the likes of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.
They’re 5/4 to qualify with Betfair and will be required to be on song in both attack and defence with van Dijk needed to keep Messi quiet and marshall his back four.
Do that, and it could be their ticket to another final and the chance to win the League and Champions League double.
It’s likely the perfect time to back the Reds to win the tournament, as get a result in the first leg and their price is only going to shorten.
Dinesh at Thekoptimes.com says: Barcelona are up next and Luis Suarez, Phillipe Coutinho and of course the minor irritation that is Lionel Messi await us. It’ll be tough but I can see us getting something out of this, perhaps a 1-1 draw.
Odds to win the Champions League: 5/2