Football

Agger: Van Persie is not the quickest

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Agger and Van Persie will go head-to-head at Euro 2012. (©GettyImages)
Agger and Van Persie will go head-to-head at Euro 2012. (©GettyImages).

For Denmark's Daniel Agger, the start of Euro 2012 cannot come soon enough.

For the past three weeks, the Liverpool defender has been in constant contact with Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, as the pair prepare to do battle as their countries are set to go head-to-head in the Group B opener.

Speaking on Friday, Agger said: "I have spoken about him every day for three weeks now. Now I am just happy the tournament is about to begin."

As both players ply their trade in the Premier League, they are all too familiar with each other's style of play, and the Danish defender will be looking to make the most of his previous experience as Denmark attempt to cause an upset by defeating their Dutch counterparts.

However, the 27-year-old defender was absent as Van Persie scored twice during Arsenal's 2-1 win at Anfield back in March. But as Agger and RVP prepare to do battle on Saturday night, the former is charged with the unenviable task of keeping the Gunners' talisman quiet. Considering Van Persie is the odds on favourite to win the tournament's Golden Boot award, it could be quite a struggle.

When asked by Danish paper Ekstra Bladet to assess Van Persie's strengths and weaknesses, Agger said: "His speed? Well, he is not the quickest.

"He is not the slowest either. I don't know if I'd be able to beat him over 100 metres. We haven't tried that one yet."

The Denmark captain stopped short of criticising the Dutchman, acknowledging that the prolific Van Persie has many strengths.

"He is always at the right place and his runs are very good. And you have to give him that he has a good shot, a really good left foot," said Agger.

"His heading isn't his strong point. Of course, he is an all-round player so he can do most things, including heading. But some things, as it is for every player, are better than others."

Agger added that the Danes are unlikely to be able to get Van Persie to lose his temper. "As long as we keep the ball he will struggle to create chances and that won't please him.

"But I don't think you can go up close to him and press him and irritate him. That is something he is used to all the time."

Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Internationals
Football
Premier League
Daniel Agger
Liverpool
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