Tottenham v Ajax preview: all you need to know

Spurs have injuries but Mauricio Pochettino says it is "impossible to be tired" for the semi against Ajax.

Ex-Ajax players Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sánchez
Ex-Ajax players Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sánchez ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Pochettino says it's "impossible to be tired" for Ajax game
  • Dutch side have knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus
  • Spurs aiming to reach their first ever European Cup final
  • Striker Kane and suspended Son key absentees for hosts
  • Eriksen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Sánchez all ex-Ajax

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UEFA.com reporters' views

Daniel Thacker, Tottenham: Tottenham may be without key players – chief among them Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son – but there will be no lack of hunger or fight in this first leg from Mauricio Pochettino's side, who stand on the cusp of the club's first UEFA Champions League final. Do not read too much into Tottenham's weekend defeat; the European stage has often brought the best out of Spurs this season, and Tuesday promises to be no exception. Expect the London club to take a slender advantage to Amsterdam.

Derek Brookman, Ajax: Given they've come so far while staying true to their brand of expansive, possession-based attacking football, don't expect Ajax to change now. They will look to dominate the ball, press high and interchange positions fluidly. This is a team whose full-backs scored five times in the group stage, and that has scored an astonishing 160 goals in all competitions in 2018/19. I don't see them leaving north London empty-handed. With Kane and Son absent for Spurs, Erik ten Hag's men have a golden chance to take control.

Possible line-ups

Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sánchez, Rose; Dier, Wanyama, Eriksen; Alli, Lucas; Llorente
Out: Kane (ankle), Lamela (hamstring), Aurier (hamstring), Winks (hip), Son (suspended)
Doubtful: Sissoko (groin), Vertonghen (thigh)

Ajax: Onana; Tagliafico, Blind, De Ligt, Mazraoui; De Jong, Van de Beek, Schöne; Neres, Tadić, Ziyech
Out: Bandé (calf)
Doubtful: Mazraoui (ankle)

Key battle

Christian Eriksen v Frenkie de Jong: Since leaving the Dutch giants for Spurs in 2013, Eriksen has become one of the world's best midfielders, but even at 21 De Jong would not be too far behind in any such assessment. With Tottenham's personnel concerns the Dane's creativity assumes added importance, and if De Jong gets on top then Ajax could get away – witness events in Madrid and Turin. "He doesn't have too many seasons at the highest level under his belt," Eriksen told UEFA.com last week. "But what he has already achieved has been outstanding. Respect to him and to Ajax for letting him play."

Spurs lost their first home game at their new stadium on Saturday
Spurs lost their first home game at their new stadium on Saturday©Getty Images

Where to watch

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here

Form guide

Tottenham
Last game: Tottenham 0-1 West Ham (27/04)
Form: LWLLWWWLLW

Ajax
Last game: Ajax 4-2 Vitesse (23/04)
Form: WWWWDWWWLW

Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham coach

It's going to be a magical night because to play the semi-finals in our new stadium is something that no one could believe or think a few months ago. It's a game that is impossible to be tired for, not to be excited to play. It's all mental.

The energy is going to be there. It's two legs – tomorrow we are going to play the first half of the game and the second is going to be at Ajax. It's so important how we approach the game and how we handle the game during 90 minutes.

Erik ten Hag, Ajax coach

We want to continue this progress. It's amazing that we are in the Champions League semi-finals – nobody could have predicted at the beginning of season that a Dutch team would end up here. We have achieved something, but we want more.

We can be more effective and convert our chances. We want to be confident, but we can't be naive. We have lots of matches under our belts. I think we stand a good chance. I believe in my team, the players on the pitch and the plan we have put together.

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