Tottenham Hotspur welcome this season’s surprise package Ajax at their new stadium for their Champions League semi-final first leg clash on Tuesday night. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were beaten by West Ham at the same venue on Saturday and while Ajax were afforded a weekend off by the Dutch football organizers in a bid to have them fully prepared for the clash.
Tottenham Hotspur will be without key players in top goalscorer Harry Kane, who is out with an ankle ligament injury, and fellow forward Son Heung-min, who is suspended.
Midfielder Harry Winks has had groin surgery and is not expected to play again this season.
However, midfielder Moussa Sissoko is back in training after missing three games with a groin problem, while defender Jan Vertonghen is set to return after being rested for the 1-0 loss to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.
Ajax, on the other hand, will be fresh and relaxed after having league duties off for the weekend, a luxury Spurs manager Pochettino termed as ‘unfair’.They play a brand of football that is both pleasing to the eye and frightening for the opponent, as record champions, Real Madrid found out a later Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus.
Ajax lost the first leg to Real Madrid at home but emphatically beat the reigning Champions in their own backyard. The young team drew at home to in the first leg of their quarter-final tie with Juventus but came from behind to win 2-1 in Turin. They just don’t care about the venue, all they do is play their game and the rest follows.
The manner in which Spurs meekly surrendered to West Ham raised alarms in their ranks and should they serve up the same display on Tuesday night, the fearless Ajax youngsters will be more than ready to put them to the sword.