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Liverpool host Barcelona in the second-leg match of their Champions League semi-final clash. The Spanish Champions won 3:0 at Nou Camp and it will be a miracle not to qualify for the final. Luis Suarez opened the result in the first half, while two second-half goals from Lionel Messi have earned Barcelona a big advantage. Liverpool suffered their joint-heaviest Champions League loss. Previously they lost 3:0 to Real Madrid in October 2014. According to me, Liverpool were unlucky to face Barcelona in the semi-finals. However, I am sure Jurgen Klopp's men will not give up easily. Liverpool's home form is excellent, they are unbeaten at home in 21 games across all European competitions, winning 15 of them. The Reds will try to beat Barcelona at Anfield, however the key players might be tired. Liverpool are still in the battle for the title in domestic Premier League and have a hard match at Newcastle on Saturday. The Merseysiders won 3:2 at St James Park, but paid the prize very high. The best scorer Mohamed Salah left the pitch on a stretcher after an aerial collision with Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka in the finish. Klopp said concussion will keep Salah out of this match. Another important player Roberto Firmino missed the win over Newcastle with a muscle injury. He won't play against Barcelona either. Firmino has 16 goals for the Reds this season, with Salah contributing 26. Midfielder Naby Keita is also sidelined due to injury.
Barcelona are on the way to secure the third treble in their history - after 2008/09 and 2014/15 seasons. They are main favorites to win the trophy in the Champions League. The Catalans have already secure the title in La Liga and look unstoppable in the Champions League. First they topped the group that also consist PSV, Tottenham and Inter. Barcelona then eliminate the French side Lyon with 5:1 aggregate victory and Manchester United with 4:0. The Blaugrana are the only unbeaten club left in the Champions League. Barca became the second team to score 500 Champions League goals, after Real Madrid. Lionel Messi is the pivotal figure - the Argentinian international was the player that make difference in the first match against Liverpool. Messi has 12 Champions League goals for Barcelona this season, just 2 shy of his best ever tally in a single season when scoring 14 in 2011/12. Coach Ernesto Valverde is doing a great job and the fans are pleased with the season's results. He has most of his players available for this match, but Ousmane Dembele is out after suffering a hamstring tear against Celta Vigo on Saturday. Rafinha is also unavailable, but he is sidelined since November with a knee ligament injury. Philippe Coutinho, who spent five years with Liverpool, is almost certain to start. It will be interesting to see the fans' reaction.
Liverpool vs Barcelona Prediction:
Liverpool are very handicapped in this match. Two key players are sidelined through injury - Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Barcelona will start with Messi and he is the player that will make the difference.
Liverpool vs Barcelona Pick: Away win @ 2.80 with Bet365
Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Tagliafico; Schone, De Jong, Van de Beek; Ziyech, Tadic, Neres
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Wanyama, Rose; Eriksen, Dele Alli; Son
Ajax host Tottenham in the second-leg match of their Champions League semi-final clash. The Dutch outfit won 1:0 at White Hart Lane and they are close to qualify for the final. Donny van de Beek scored the only goal in the 15th minute. Some other players also deserved to be mentioned, like Hakim Ziyech who provided the assist. He has scored or assisted a goal in four of Ajax's five Champions League knockout games. Frenkie de Jong was announced as 'Player of Match' according to BBC Sport. The midfielder, who will join Barcelona this summer, made 65 passes, with a pass accuracy of 86.2%, and also touched the ball 87 times - more than any other player on the pitch. The key figure in the team is Dusan Tadic. The Serbian international has created 32 chances in the Champions League this season, the most by any player. The French newspaper L'Equipe gave Tadic a rare 10/10 score after his Masterclass performance against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu. Ajax are definitely the most pleasant surprise in the Champions League this season. They were unbeaten in the group phase and then managed to eliminate the defending champions Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus. Coach Erik ten Hag has most of the players available, only Carel Eiting remains sidelined due to injury.
Tottenham had a tough group that also consisted Barcelona, Inter and PSV. They finished as second and faced Borussia Dortmund in the first knock-out round. The Spurs dominated in the clash and won 4:0 on aggregate. In the quarter-finals they met the Premier League champions Manchester City. Mauricio Pochettino's men won 1:0 at home, while lost 4:3 at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola questioned some VAR decisions, but I think Tottenham deserved the progress. The fans were happy with the fact their club escaped Barcelona in the semifinal, but Ajax showed their power and won in London. Tottenham now need victory in Amsterdam and I expect an offensive approach. Son Heung-min, who missed the first match through suspension, is back and that's a huge boost for Spurs. Just to mention, the South Korean international has scored four out of club's eight goals in this season's Champions League knock-out stages. The key striker Harry Kane remains sidelined due to injury and that's a huge handicap. Harry Winks and Serge Aurier also remain absent, while Erik Lamela is rated as doubtful. The situation with Jan Vertonghen is unclear. He suffered a horrific clash of heads with Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, and his teammate Toby Alderweireld in the first leg. After a lengthy treatment by Spurs medical team he was allowed to return but moments later he became unsteady on his feet and signaled that he had to come off. In distressing scenes, Vertonghen retched and half-collapsed before he was helped down the tunnel. According to the last news, Vertonghen is ready for this match.
Ajax vs Tottenham Prediction:
Tottenham lost 1:0 in London, so they must try to win here. That is why I am expecting an offensive approach. With Son back from suspension, they are surely able to produce lot of problems to the opponents. Ajax, meanwhile, is fully attacking team. I am sure they won't play 'catenaccio'. They conquered Madrid and Turin and we must respect these results. Considering these facts, I expect an efficient match with at least three goals.
Ajax vs Tottenham Pick: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.72 with Bet365