Football News

Spurs striker Fernando Llorente warns: “Play like we did against West Ham and we’ll lose to Ajax”

By William Eldridge

Published: 16:18, 29 April 2019

Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente has warned his teammates that they will lose to Ajax if they repeat their West Ham United performance. 

Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost their unbeaten record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday as West Ham nicked a 1-0 win to dent the north Londoner’s confidence.

Can Spurs beat Ajax? Five things you need to know…

  1. Ajax have defied the odds to reach the Champions League semi-final this season, beating the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus en route.
  2. Tottenham Hotspur have also surprised after a poor start to the group stage.
  3. Spurs have beaten the likes of Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.
  4. However, they suffered their first defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday in a 1-0 loss to West Ham.
  5. And Fernando Llorente believes a similar performance will see Spurs beaten by Ajax on Tuesday.

Spurs never really got going and struggled against the mid-table side. And club striker Llorente has stressed that if he and his teammates play like that against Ajax this week, then they have no chance of winning.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side face the Amsterdam giants in the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday night.

Speaking to reporters, Llorente said:  “It’s right, we need everyone to wake up because if we play like this on Tuesday we will lose, easy.

“This kind of game [the semi-final] doesn’t need to be prepared for because the mentality of all the players will be different.

“But I don’t think I can understand why the mentality of the team wasn’t ready to play against West Ham. I don’t know [why] but I told you, if we play like that against Ajax then for sure we will lose.”

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Llorente to step up?

Alongside a loss of confidence, Spurs also have to contend with the loss of their two best forwards heading into Wednesday.

England international Harry Kane has been absent since picking up an injury in Tottenham’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City.

In contrast, Son picked up a booking in the second leg against the Citizens, meaning he is suspended for this week’s tie.

Depending on how Pochettino wants to line up, Llorente may finally get the chance he has been waiting for to prove himself on the big stage for the big occasion.

If so, it seems the former Swansea City man is ready, telling reporters: “For me it’s unbelievable. 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.”