Welcome back to Noah botches his Champions League predictions! If you recall, a few weeks ago I published my predictions for the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League. They were not the greatest. I went two for four, which is pretty poor. Now that we are down to the semifinals maybe I can get lucky and go two for two! Here are my Champions League semifinal predictions.
Who’s Still Standing?
The Champions League is somewhat equivalent to the March Madness of soccer. (Maybe that’s why I love it so much.) After starting with 32 teams, only four remain standing. Barcelona swept aside Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate, and they will face Liverpool who breezed past FC Porto 6-1. Meanwhile Tottenham proved a lot of doubters wrong as they got past Manchester City 4-4 (Spurs scored more away goals), without Harry Kane for the second match. They will face Ajax, who downed Juventus 3-2. To be more concise, the semifinals will be Barcelona vs. Liverpool and Ajax vs. Tottenham! Time to predict some winners!
FC Barcelona vs. Liverpool
This is the heavy weight clash between the two matches without a doubt. On one side you have Spanish giants FC Barcelona, led by the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) Lionel Messi. On the flip side, are Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool. Led by a dynamic attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane, the Reds can go toe to toe with any team. Barcelona are looking to win their sixth Champions League title, with their most recent one being in 2015. Liverpool were just in the finals last season, where they lost to Real Madrid in heartbreaking, Gareth Bale bicycle-kicking fashion.
Barcelona under manager Ernesto Valverde play a controlled, passing game where they dictate the tempo. That style will be tested by Liverpool and their high-pressing, fast mentality. Lionel Messi carried Barcelona past Manchester United and he has the star power to push them through. However, I am backing Liverpool and their electric style of play to push them into the finale for a second straight season. They have the attack and defense to contend for the Champions League title.
Score Prediction: Liverpool 5-3 FC Barcelona
The team that could benefit most from Liverpool potentially going through would actually be Manchester City in my opinion. Although City players and fans are frustrated that they’ve been knocked out of the Champions League, they now have less games to worry about. The extra could be massive in pushing the Citizens to the title. Nevertheless, I see Liverpool getting past Barcelona led by their explosive attack and improved defense.
Tottenham vs. Ajax
The underdog matchup, that I am very intrigued to watch, is also very tough to predict. Tottenham made their way to this point through VAR, VAR again, and some strong managerial performances by Mauricio Pochettino. Even without Harry Kane, others have stepped up in his place. Even though I support Chelsea, who are major rivals of Tottenham, I love Heung-Min Son. The man is an absolute stud. Unfortunately he will miss the first leg against Ajax, due to too many yellow cards. Losing his ability up top, will be a big blow for Spurs. Lucas or Fernando Llorente will have to step up in his absence.
As for Ajax, I feel awful for not going with heart and sending them through in my last set of predictions. I love watching them play, their passing is phenomenal and their trust in young players is fantastic. For the Dutch side, this is probably their one shot at European glory for a while. Wonder-kids Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt will be sold in the summer for eye-watering amounts of profit. I think that hunger and desire to return to their former European glory, even for one year will be a major boost for them.
And The Verdict Is….
This tie is going to be a blast to watch. Both teams play stylish, attacking football and I expect goals and drama in both legs. Both managers, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have done a fantastic job of getting their teams to this stage. Ajax will be looking to reach their seventh final, while Spurs have never reached the final match before. I denied my heart last time but I won’t do it again. I think that Spurs being without Son for the first match will be enough of a hinderance for Ajax to capitalize. They have beaten bigger teams already and show zero fear on the pitch. THE AJAX DREAM RUN CONTINUES!
Score Prediction: Tottenham 4-5 Ajax
That’s it for my Champions League semifinal predictions! Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Do you agree with my predictions? Then give this article a share! Until next time have a great day and God bless! Thanks again to Fredrik @F_edits!