How Ajax was the making of Tottenham's key players

Christian Eriksen goes up against his former Ajax side captained by the young centre-back Matthijs De Ligt

Christian Eriksen goes up against his former Ajax side captained by the young centre-back Matthijs De Ligt

The starting lineups are in for both Tottenham and Ajax ahead of their Champions League semifinal first leg in London.

It's a testament to Moussa Sissoko's turnaround at Tottenham that supporters were upset with his omission from Mauricio Pochettino's team sheet for Tuesday evening's Champions League semi-final first leg against Ajax.

Four-time European champions Ajax have far more European pedigree than Spurs, but their run to the last four for the first time since 1997 is arguably an even bigger surprise given the financial gulf between the Eredivisie and the Premier League.

Juventus were waiting in the quarter-finals and - after another patchy result at home - they progressed with a 2-1 success in Turin.

With Wanyama struggling to keep up with the pace of the game and Christian Eriksen's influence lessened from deep, Sissoko's display in central midfield may have kept Tottenham in the tie.

Spurs were vulnerable to the counter however and Ajax came agonisingly close to doubling the lead, and leaving Tottenham with a near-impossible task in the second leg, when Tadic linked up with Neres whose side-footed shot rebounded off the post.

Ajax dominated the first half until Pochettino completely changed his game-plan by switching from a 3-5-2 formation to a 4-4-2 system.

The Dutch side was given too much space to string together slick passes early on, and Van de Beek ghosted into the penalty area to receive a throughball from Hakim Ziyech before knocking a shot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 15th minute. They get a lot more.

Kane went off after 58 minutes of the 1-0 win, with his manager left to lament: "It's a worry for us".

It's a tie that will also see a whole host of players face former clubs, although there's been plenty of players over the years to have donned the colours of both Tottenham and Ajax. Ajax are making the most of their season with so many stars set to leave for other clubs in the summer, while Tottenham continue to patch together wins with their injury-depleted squad.

Spurs will be without Heung-min Son (suspension), Harry Kane (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hamstring), so they are short of options up front.

Spurs recovered from being on the brink of elimination in the group stages this year before getting a draw at fellow semi-finalists Barcelona on the final day to advance to the knock-out stages. Plus, they get Son back for the game in Amsterdam next Wednesday, when they will need to score at least one.

"It will be a tough game next week in the Arena, but with our own supporters behind us it will certainly be a huge boost to reach the final".