Arne Slot expects close encounter against Ajax in KNVB semi-final De Klassieker

Arne Slot expects another equal battle between Feyenoord and Ajax on Wednesday. The trainer of the leader in the Eredivisie has never heard before that he was designated as a favourite by an Ajax coach, Voetbal International reports.

Lutsharel Geertruida, Justin Bijlow and Quinten Timber are still missing from the Rotterdam team on Wednesday but Feyenoord’s head coach has no additional concerns ahead of the third De Klassieker of the season.

While John Heitinga attributed the role of favourite to Feyenoord, Slot assumes a balanced battle. “I think both games showed how close they are. They have been equal matches, but each half had a different story. It seems plausible that it will also be equal in the third game.”

For Slot, Heitinga’s words were a first. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard an Ajax coach say that before, also because there was no reason to. Maybe in the year with AZ. In the other years that I was a trainer, Ajax always had a big lead on me. So I haven’t heard it before.”

“You know what I think of being a favourite,” Slot continued. You don’t win games with that. If we want to beat Ajax, we have to be very good. The past games have also shown that. So many Orange internationals with A-internationals sitting on the bench. Both they and we will have to be very good to win.”

Feyenoord will be looking to continue their impressive form this season having gone eight points clear in the Eredivisie table which included a De Klassieker win at the Johan Cruyff Arena last month. 

Ajax’s recent form has been a struggle with the likes of Wesley Sneijder criticising Dusan Tadic and comparing John Heitinga to Alfred Schreuder – the man who was sacked after drawing at De Kuip earlier this season. 

Heitinga’s side drew with relegation contenders Go Ahead Eagles who now go six points clear of the relegation play-off spot after a goalless draw at De Adelaarshorst.GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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