Ex-Ajax coach Van Gaal: Forget Spurs and win Cup final

Ajax- cropped

Ajax- cropped

Former Ajax coach Louis van Gaal says they must select their strongest line-up in today's Dutch Cup final against Willem II.

Ajax earned their lead at the halfway point of the tie thanks to Donny van de Beek's first-half goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week.

Ajax upset Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the semi-final with a fast and attacking style of play, and initially dominated Tottenham in their 1-0 away win last week.

Spurs will have Son Heung-min back from suspension this time, though, and that gives them hope, especially after Mauricio Pochettino's depleted team recovered from a torrid first 30 minutes in London to cause Ajax problems. "We will play to our own strengths with respect to the opponent". We will have to win.

The Dutch side won the KNVB Cup with a 4-0 success over Willem II on Sunday but their thoughts immediately turned to the semi-final second leg with Spurs.

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Their victory in the Rotterdam final - their first trophy in five years - has boosted defender Daley Blind's belief that they can capture more silverware in the coming weeks. Celebrations after that game were muted, however.

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"You also have to take into account the players themselves". Opened in 1996 following an eight-day torch relay involving 375 runners that was started by Johan Cruyff at the club's old De Meer home, it was rechristened two years ago following his death and as their manager acknowledged, has been waiting for an occasion like this for some time.

"Just like the other matches, and the group phase, they're all important matches against big opponents and you have to make the best of it during preparation".

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