All signs seemed to point to this season’s Champions League semifinals being Barcelona vs. Liverpool and Manchester City vs. Juventus ahead of the quarterfinals, but a pair of upsets saw the latter matchup fail to materialize withand in a
As a result of those games, Ajax will take on Tottenham in one semifinal, with Barca and Liverpool meeting in the other. With four teams remaining, there are four possible matchups for the June 1 final in Madrid. Here’s how they rank from worst to best.
4. Liverpool vs. Ajax
Two of the biggest clubs in European history, boy there would be a lot of red inside that stadium. It’s certainly the match-up with the least amount of history. They have played twice, and it hasn’t happened since 1966 in the European Cup, now known as the Champions League. But the fact that there isn’t much history there does make it quite intriguing. Liverpool has a pair of Dutchmen in Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum, two players who know a lot of the Ajax players well but never played for the club.
3. Barcelona vs. Tottenham
This would actually be their fourth meeting in a year if it were to happen. They played in the International Champions Cup in June (Barca won on penalty kicks), and they also played twice in the group stage of this season’s UCL. Barca won at Tottenham, while Spurs got a draw at Barca to move on from the group stage. There’s also the storyline of Mauricio Pochettino’s history against Barcelona as a player and manager of the team’s city rival, Espanyol. Pochettino played there from 1994-2001 and coached the team from 2009-2012.
2. Liverpool vs. Tottenham
An all-England final would be something, though this one isn’t nearly as tasty as Liverpool vs. Manchester City would have been. But Spurs have knocked off some really good teams to get to the semifinals, and many will probably view them as the favorite to beat Ajax. Pochettino has worked wonders in North London and has this team potentially 180 minutes away from a Champions League final. These teams have played twice already this season in the Premier League with Liverpool winning both, 2-1. Jurgen Klopp and company would be the strong favorites based on this season’s results.
1. Barcelona vs. Ajax
Boy, wouldn’t Johan Cruyff be smiling down if this were to happen. The former Dutch legend, who passed away just over two years ago, helped turn both clubs into what they are today. On one side, you’d have mighty Barcelona with Lionel Messi going up against a group of young kids who have taken the world by storm. You would also have Ajax star Frenkie de Jong playing his last game for Ajax before his summer move to Barcelona. An absolutely incredible matchup that would be in a sense, David vs. Goliath.
Tottenham will host Ajax on April 30 in the semifinal first leg, with the return leg on May 8. Barcelona welcomes Liverpool to Spain on May 1, and then the return leg is on May 7. You can watch all of the remaining Champions League matches on fuboTV (Try for free).