Tottenham Hotspur will host Ajax Amsterdam in a highly anticipated first-leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night, kick-off 20:00.
After moving to the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Lilywhites have played four games so far, winning every single one of them without conceding a goal.
Now, however, Spurs will be exposed to their biggest test yet, when a young and extremely talented Ajax side visit the north side of the capital.
The Dutch side surprisingly eliminated Juventus in the quarter final of the European competition after beating the Old Lady 3-2 on aggregate.
In addition, the club from the Netherlands have an ‘unfair’ advantage.
The Dutch FA, the KNVB, have postponed all Eredivisie fixtures, giving the ‘Sons of the Gods’ more time to prepare ahead of Tuesday’s game. The Amsterdam based club have seven days to prepare.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have their eyes strictly set on the derby against West Ham United on Saturday, kick-off 12:30.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the West Ham clash, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino revealed his thoughts on the situation.
“I know the Premier League and FA have tried to help,” he said. “But it’s true, the Premier League is completely different to the Dutch league. Football in Europe is completely different to England.
“The reality is they are going to have more time to prepare and avoid risk. When you play Saturday and Tuesday, and the game on Saturday is a derby, playing for big things, the concentration and effort is massive. You can have some problems.
“The fact is I think it’s not fair. If it was the opposite where we had one week to prepare for the semi-final and Ajax play Saturday, I would think the same, that it’s not fair for them.
“I don’t want to create a debate. The fact is, playing a Champions League semi-final, both teams must have the same time to prepare.
“It’s better for them to have time to be focused on Tuesday’s game against Tottenham because you are not preparing for the game in your league.
“For us, after Manchester City we are thinking about trying to beat West Ham. We are not thinking about Ajax. It’s completely different.
“We must start to think about Ajax after the game after Saturday. That is an advantage [for Ajax] but sometimes it can be a disadvantage because you have too much time to prepare.
“What’s for sure is they are going to avoid risk and we are going to take risks.
“When you compete three days beforehand in a game you must win if you want to be in the top four, and it’s an emotional game because it’s against West Ham, the effort [required] is massive.
“That is why we are excited and so motivated. It is a massive challenge for us.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
We believe that it is extremely unfair that Ajax have four more days to prepare for the crucial semi-final fixture.
Especially at this stage of the season, players need as much rest as possible and every day makes a difference.
The Premier League is the most competitive football competition in the world, and footballers are pushed to their limits, unlike in other European leagues.
Tottenham are still fighting for the top four, therefore, Mauricio Pochettino is unable to rest key players.
In addition, Spurs face a number of problems ahead of Tuesday with Heung-min Son suspended and a number of players injured, including Harry Kane.
Nonetheless, the Lilywhites have one advantage, and that is their new stadium.
As we’ve seen in the Manchester City clash, the ground was rocking and we expect the noise to be even greater when we face Ajax.
The atmosphere and the fans can make all the difference.
Have something to tell us about this article?