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Van Persie: Ajax favourites to progress

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Former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie believes Ajax are well equipped to overcome former rivals Tottenham in their Champions League semi-final clash.

The Dutch side are currently closing in on their 34th Eredivisie title, and their accomplishments in Europe this season have been phenomenal after eliminating reigning champions Real Madrid and favourites Juve.

Ajax only defeat in the Dutch top-flight was a  6-2 home loss to Feyenoord, but they got one over their rivals with a 3-0 win in the KNVB Cup.

Meanwhile, Spurs – who eliminated Man City in the quarter-finals will face a stiff challenge on home turf without injured Harry Kane and suspended Heung-Min Son.

And former Arsenal and Man United striker Van Persie feels the absence of those key players will be the difference in the game.

Van Persie, who currently plays for Feyenoord, told Voetbal International: “When I played for Arsenal, Tottenham were the main rivals. At Feyenoord, Ajax are the main rivals. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for those clubs. I have a lot of respect for Spurs and Ajax and the way they made it this far. I’d say Ajax are the favourites as Spurs are without Kane and Son.

“I reckon Spurs will be watching some footage of our league win over Ajax… Every game is different, but I thought we were the better team in the KNVB Beker game as well before the break. Things just didn’t go our way.”

Spurs striker Fernando Llorente, who could step in for Kane said via the Guardian: “It’s an amazing opportunity to give my best to help the team, to demonstrate I can help the team and I will try to do my best.”