Champions League: 3 reasons why Ajax can win the tournament
AFC Ajax feature in a Champions League semi-final for the first time since 1997. It's a merry run for the Dutch club, stunning the European giants, Real Madrid and Juventus, on their way to the last four.
De Godenzonen travel to London for the semi-final first leg, facing Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday. The Ajax players have proved their mettle in this year's tournament, holding Bayern Munich and to a draw in both group fixtures, and surprising the entire football fraternity after their semi-final qualification.
The Amsterdam outfit lock horns with a euphoric Tottenham Hotspur, who managed to beat the competition favorites, Manchester City, over two legs. Erik ten Hag's side anticipate a stern challenge to overcome a shrewd tactician in the form of Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs and Ajax are attack oriented teams and the clash between them promises to be a tantalizing one. The Dutch side hold a golden opportunity to lift their fifth Champions League this season and here are three reasons why...
#3 Intrepid brand of football
The biggest threat Ajax boys possess is their courage to follow their philosophy. De Joden blew away the defending champions Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu and stunned Cristiano Ronaldo's Juve side at their home turf.
AFC Ajax have abided by Johan Cruyff's vision, playing simple and free-flowing football. They have produced incredible results at Bernabeu and Turin which shows that players are unfazed by opponents' stature and have imposed themselves with aplomb. Ajax's audacious performance in Madrid was bewildering as they completely eclipsed the Blancos and that signified their credentials.
Nothing to lose approach has undoubtedly helped the Eredivisie side as they were not expected to be the frontrunners for the competition, which has allowed players to express themselves without the fear of losing.
Facing Pochettino's tactically open-ended side in a high-voltage encounter is a challenge Erik ten Hag's side will relish. It will be interesting to see if ten Hag changes his approach for the semi-final.