Premier League: Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen hoping to play Crystal Palace on August 18

Jan Vertonghen: Hopeful injury will not stop him facing Crystal Palace

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Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is hopeful he will be fit in time for the start of the Barclays Premier League season.

Vertonghen suffered an ankle injury during the 3-1 defeat by Sunderland at the Asia Trophy last month.

Boss Andre Villas-Boas has all but ruled the Belgian out of the opening match of the season, at Crystal Palace on August 18, but Vertonghen says he is feeling better and hopeful of being available.

"It was two weeks ago that I was injured in Hong Kong and I'm making a lot of progress," Vertonghen said.

"I'm starting to run, but the next game is in 10 days' time so it is going to be quite close. You never know what can happen and I will always aim for the best and hope next week I'll be very close."

Vertonghen is also feeling positive about the arrival of Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, a high-profile signing from Valencia last week.

When asked if his arrival was important for the club, Vertonghen added: "Especially when you are aiming for bigger things than fifth place, you need players who are ready for the biggest games in the world against United, City and Chelsea.

"He can improve as well. We want to be there from the first game of the season, not the seventh or the eighth, and we want to perform from the start."

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