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Hearts game excites Van der Vaart

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Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart is relishing tonight’s fixture away at Hearts as Spurs gear up for their first competitive game of the season.

Saturday’s game at Everton was postponed as a result of the riots that began in Tottenham and quickly spread across London.

And Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart, who would have missed the Everton fixture with an ankle injury, is looking forward to the first Anglo-Scottish encounter tonight.

“In Holland, we love to watch English and Scottish football. British people love football, similar to the Dutch, and the passion is clear to see,” he said.

“If you play them at their home you can always get into trouble against them and the fans are fantastic people. Their stadiums are always sold out for these matches.

“This is the first time I will have been involved in a game between clubs from Scotland and England and everyone says it’s very special.”

The former Real Madrid midfielder insist him, and his team-mates, must be on their toes ahead of the first-leg play-off encounter against Hearts, especially since the SPL side have already played six league games this season.

And while manager Harry Redknapp insisted that the league will take his priority, the 28-year-old insists the Europa League is a competition the club are in to win.

“This is our first game and we’ll be telling each other we must be sharp because we’re facing a good team, especially at home. It will be an interesting game,” the Dutch international added.

“As a player, I love to play during the week, whether it’s in the Champions League or the Europa League. This is another competition and the Europa League would be a nice tournament to win.”

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