2019 UEFA Champions League Semifinal Predictions (Repost)

Chops April 29, 2019 2650 Reads

The 2019 UEFA Champions League Semifinals are set.

One half of the bracket features the most complete player in the world vs the most complete team in the world.

The other half showcases a young team on the rise taking their one shot at glory before their best players are sold off to global behemoths playing against a team that literally never buys anyone and no one expected to make it this far.

Barcelona vs Liverpool. Tottenham vs Ajax. Who ya got?

How did our High Press Soccer panel of experts do last time? A quick recap:

  • Chops (3 out of 4) — Would’ve had 4 of 4 but wimped out with a “Heart says Ajax, mind says Juventus” call. Accurately described the Tottenham win as something they’d “white-knuckle” at the Etihad after winning the home game.
  • Tyler Everett (3 out of 4) — Waffled on the Tottenham upset. Finally stood his ground and picked Ajax. Right call.
  • Katya Gokhman (2 out of 4) — Picked Manchester United in an upset (KATYA!!!) and went with CR7 carrying Juve through.
  • Carl Cort (2 out of 4) — Wanted to get there, but just couldn’t get there with Ajax either. And couldn’t fortune-tell VAR carrying Tottenham through to the semis.

On with the predictions!

Barcelona vs LiverpoolNot to state the obvious, but this match-up almost entirely comes down to two things: 1) Can Liverpool leave Camp Nou in Leg 1 even or only down by a goal, and 2) Can Klopp come up with a plan to stop Messi?

Liverpool are easily the most battle-tested team remaining. Just to get here they survived a “Group of Death” that included PSG and Napoli. They handled Bayern Munich. They’re in a Premier League title race for the ages. They’re peaking at the right time. I’m going with Liverpool.
I’m going with Barcelona in this one. They are not quite as proven and battle-tested as Liverpool this year, but I think they’ll find a way. The fact the Catalans’ best players can focus all their energy on the UCL, as La Liga is decided, is huge. Liverpool, on the other hand, is under a ton of pressure both domestically and in Europe, and the burden on the Reds and/or Messi is going to be too much for them. Although we have talked about Barcelona and Messi having a fantastic season, we tend to overlook the fact that, maybe, La Liga isn’t what it used to be.  And, maybe, Manchester United made Barcelona look better than they really are.

Liverpool seem to have found their “groove” and Klopp seems to be on a roll.  Just like Chops mentioned, they’ve been tested over and over again and have gone through the rings of fire; I can’t say the same about Barcelona.  I’m going with Liverpool – let’s give the lads another chance at glory.
When you look at this match up it’s really hard to look past Messi, Suarez, Camp Nou and that dynamic firepower. But I think Liverpool are more equipped all round and can give Barcelona just as many problems as Barca will give them at the back. It’s going to be a fantastic game of football ending with Liverpool getting a another chance to redeem themselves in the CL final.
Tottenham vs Ajax First and foremost, Ajax absolutely deserve to be here. They’ve been criminally undervalued by oddsmakers and experts (me included) during this journey. They’re no Cinderella team. They’re legit.


Where was I? Oh yeah, Spurs. Tottenham don’t get the respect they deserve either, playing second fiddle this year to the Man City and Liverpool rocket ship.

Having said that, I think Ajax steamrolls them to the finals. Spurs lack of depth and inability to rotate won’t stand up to the younger legs of Ajax.

Tottenham’s win over Man City was incredible, in so many ways. Unfortunately for Spurs, though, it took a toll. They’re going to miss Son in the first leg and Kane in both, and Ajax’s run will continue. The Dutch club seemingly gets more and more comfortable as the stakes are raised. The best story of the tournament will not be over until June 1 at Wanda Metropolitano. One word – wow.  What a turn of events.  I’m 0 for 2 with these teams and I’m ashamed to say it.  They have both proven themselves – especially Ajax who showed us that beating Real Madrid in the last stage and tying Juventus at home were no fluke.

With Spurs, I have to give it to the coach and players (especially Son) for tactically outplaying the mastermind Pep.

With all this being said, I’m going to go with my heart instead of my brain (this has proven to fail me in the past but oh well) and go with Ajax for the win. The boys are on a roll and I have a gut feeling that there’s more coming.
I’m very surprised that I’m even mentioning Tottenham at this stage of the CL.

Now they are up against an Ajax team who have shocked the football world with their  dynamic and attractive way of play. I believe the momentum Ajax have created is just too strong and they’ll see their way past Spurs to meet Liverpool in the final.

Our predictions team consist of former Russian national team member Katya Gokhman. Joining her are site-runner Chops, contributing writer and La Liga expert Tyler Everett, and former Premier League striker Carl Cort. After a stint in the US with the NASL, Carl now conducts Las Vegas private soccer training and clinics.

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