Tottenham kick off big week for English clubs in Europe
Champions League: Tottenham vs Ajax on Tuesday; Barcelona vs Liverpool on Wednesday. Europa League: Arsenal vs Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt vs Chelsea on Thursday
Last Updated: 30/04/19 3:09pm
It's a massive week for English clubs in Europe as Tottenham and Liverpool bid to reach the Champions League final, while Chelsea and Arsenal are in Europa League semi-final action. Will we see two all-English European finals?
It all starts with the Champions League on Tuesday when Tottenham host Ajax at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and continues on Wednesday when Jurgen Klopp takes his Liverpool side to the Nou Camp to face La Liga champions Barcelona in their respective semi-final first legs.
Then it is on to the Europa League semi-final first legs with Chelsea travelling to German side Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal hosting Valencia at the Emirates Stadium.
Can all four English sides take giant steps towards their respective finals?
What's coming up this week?
Champions League semi-final first legs
- Tottenham vs Ajax (Tuesday, 8pm)
- Barcelona vs Liverpool (Wednesday, 8pm)
How to follow
Follow all the action from the Champions League and Europa League semi-finals with our dedicated match blogs on the Sky Sports website and app.We'll also have full match reports, reaction, analysis, player ratings and much more so you won't miss a thing.
Europa League semi-final first legs
- Arsenal vs Valencia (Thursday, 8pm)
- Eintracht Frankfurt vs Chelsea (Thursday, 8pm)
When are the second legs?
- Liverpool vs Barcelona (Tuesday May 7, 8pm)
- Ajax vs Tottenham (Wednesday May 8, 8pm)
- Valencia vs Arsenal (Thursday May 9, 8pm)
- Chelsea vs Eintracht Frankfurt (Thursday May 9, 8pm)
Nev: Investment finally paying off
Speaking on Renault Super Sunday, Gary Neville praised the performances of the Premier League clubs in this season's European competitions.
"We're sort of ridiculing the clubs trying to get into the top four in the Premier League but if you look at it, Tottenham are in a Champions League semi-final and Arsenal and Chelsea are in the semi-finals of the Europa League.
"We asked a few years ago, with the investment that's gone into the Premier League, for improvement in Champions League and Europa League performances and we are finally getting it."
Charlie's Europa League predictions
Charlie Nicholas returns with his predictions ahead of a crucial midweek round of Champions League and Europa League semi-finals. Here's who the Soccer Saturday pundit is backing…
Have your say
Up first, Tottenham vs Ajax...
Spurs team news
Tottenham were handed a big boost ahead of their clash with Ajax with the return to training of Moussa Sissoko. The France midfielder has missed the last three games due to a groin problem, but trained on Monday.
Defender Jan Vertonghen was rested during Tottenham's 1-0 loss to West Ham on Saturday but he was also in action during the training session.
Tottenham later announced that Sissoko and Vertonghen will be assessed ahead of Tuesday's clash against the Dutch side.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane (ankle), Harry Winks (groin), Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier (both hamstring) are all missing through injury, while Heung-Min Son is suspended, and Vincent Janssen is ineligible.
Ajax team news
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has travelled to London with a squad of 22 players.
Noussair Mazraoui, who missed his side's 4-2 win against Vitesse last time out through injury, is back in the squad.
Ajax squad in London
Andre Onana, Kostas Lamprou, Bruno Varela, Rasmus Kristensen, Joel Veltman, Matthijs de Ligt, Daley Sinkgraven, Noussair Mazraoui, Lisandro Magallan, Daley Blind, Nico Tagliafico, Donny van de Beek, Dusan Tadic, Zakaria Labyad, Lasse Schone, Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech, Dani de Wit, David Neres, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Kasper Dolberg, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp
Poch 'living his dream'
Mauricio Pochettino is "living his dream" by taking Tottenham to the Champions League semi-finals, but is still thinking even bigger.
Spurs host Ajax in Tuesday's first leg having reached the last four of this competition for the first time in the Champions League era.
"I am living my dream, I am already living it - to be in the semi-final with Tottenham," Pochettino said. "It was a dream five years ago and we are living it. Always you must dream with the moon, if you want to get something from the sky. You need to set your dreams to infinity and beyond.
"When you are ambitious and want to achieve big things you need to dream. I was always a dreamer. When I was very young I dreamed in my hometown in Murphy (in Santa Fe) one day to be a football player and I achieved it.
"It was tough to achieve all that I dreamed but I believe there is power in your mind when you are determined to achieve. If you achieve things it is because you dream, when you dream you have it in your mind and then you can get it."
Spurs' Ajax quartet
There will have been a quartet of players in the Spurs dressing room who will have given an extra smile when they confirmed their last-four date with Ajax.
Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld all used to play for the Amsterdam side, with the first three joining Spurs from there while the latter came via Atletico Madrid.
Moura: We will miss Son
Lucas Moura is set to play a vital role for Spurs in the absence of the suspended Son and he backed his team-mates to fill the void left by the likes of the South Korea international and the injured Kane.
"Son is a very, very good player, he's very important for us. Of course we will miss him but we have other players who can do a good job and we have a very good squad."
Ten Hag dismisses Poch's 'unfair' claim
Ajax manager Ten Hag has pointed towards the television money Tottenham receive as a reason why their Premier League game at the weekend was not cancelled.
The Dutch side had their Eredivisie fixture called off to give them maximum preparation time for the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday while Spurs had to play West Ham in a London derby.
"I can't really say a lot about that", he said of Pochettino's claim. "There are always different circumstances, we get 10m (euros) from TV, they get a lot more, is that still unfair for them or for us? Everyone has different circumstances."
Merse: Difficult tie for Spurs
Speaking on The Debate, Paul Merson thinks Tottenham face a tricky night when Ajax are the visitors at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
"I really fancied Spurs against Ajax, I really did," he said. "I watched Ajax and Real Madrid and Juventus gave them no respect all. Ajax caught them out and they embarrassed them in the end.
"Tottenham will show them a lot of respect but if Spurs had all their players fit and available they would've beat them. Now you look at it with the injuries and some of the players missing and it's going to be difficult. When I watched them against West Ham at the weekend it looked like a couple of the players were running in treacle."
On the other hand, Paul Dickov thinks Pochettino's side may have had one eye on the Ajax game during their defeat to West Ham.
"I fancy them over two legs in the Champions League against Ajax," Dickov said on The Debate. "I know they've got injuries and everything else, and I think the West Ham game on Saturday they possibly had one the game with Ajax this week."
Spurs' success owes much to their Dutch opponents. Adam Bate caught up with former Ajax midfielder Enoh Eyong to find out how the club shaped the development of Tottenham's key players Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen...
WATCH: 'Don't underestimate up-and-coming Ajax'
- Tottenham have won both of their previous meetings with Ajax in all competitions, winning both legs in the first round of the 1981-82 Cup Winners' Cup (3-1 away, 3-0 at home).
- Ajax have won just one of their six previous Champions League meetings with English opposition (3-1 vs Man City in October 2012), with all three of their away games finishing as draws (twice vs Arsenal, once vs Man City).
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
Tottenham are hitting this awkward spell at the moment. Are they the favourites? They have never been here before. Ajax, as players, have never been there before but their side have on some occasions.
This young side do not have any fear, they have five or six super young players who know how to get the job done.
Dusan Tadic didn't have the consistency at Southampton but he and Daley Blind have been great. Tottenham, on their day, with the pace of Lucas Moura, alongside the skill of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, are guaranteed to score.
I feel Ajax will play and open up the game. Spurs could afford to let Manchester City come onto them, but they will see more possession here. I see Tottenham securing the first-leg advantage ahead of next week's return in Amsterdam.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1
But what's your verdict?
Have your say...
How to follow the game
You will be able to follow all the action from Tottenham vs Ajax on Sky Sports' digital platforms, with kick-off at 8pm.
Follow live text commentary from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the Sky Sports website and app and after the final whistle we will bring you a full match report, reaction, analysis, player ratings and much more.
Sky Sports' Premier League games this weekend...
After their European exploits, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are back in Premier League action next weekend, live on Sky Sports.
Here's what is coming up on Sky Sports Premier League...
- Everton vs Burnley: Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event Saturday from 7pm; Kick-off is 8pm
- Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur: Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event Saturday from 12pm. Kick-off is 12.30pm
- Newcastle vs Liverpool: Live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm and Main Event Saturday from 7.30pm. Kick-off is 7.45pm
- Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United: Live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm and Main Event Sunday from 1.30pm. Kick-off is 12.30pm.
- Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event Sunday from 4.15pm. Kick-off is 4.30pm.
- Manchester City vs Leicester City : Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event Monday from 7pm. Kick-off is 8pm.