Tottenham’s challenge is far from simple as they bid to reach the semi finals of the Europa League for the first time since 1984.
Andre Villas-Boas’ men had appeared to be given the easiest task of the three English teams left in the competition when they were handed a quarter final clash with a Basel side that have lost several members of the team that dumped Manchester United out of last season’s Champions League.
However, in a dramatic first leg, the Swiss side took a shock 2-0 lead and although they were pegged back by two strikes from Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson, it is they who have the advantage and not Tottenham as the Lilywhites head to St Jakob Park.
Spurs lost the services of Aaron Lennon (knee), William Gallas (calf) and most importantly, Gareth Bale (ankle) in the first-leg at White Hart Lane and all three will be missing for the return trip to Switzerland, absences that could just cost Villas-Boas a shot at regaining the trophy he won with Porto in 2011.
However, Spurs assistant boss Steffen Freund remains confident that they can progress without them.
“We’re playing a strong team… but we are confident because we’ve played so well away all season,” he said.
“If we perform how we know we can, we have a good chance of progressing to the semi-finals.”
Spurs will have to keep a close eye on 20-year-old Egyptian Mohamed Salah after his outstanding showing in the first leg, one that was only marred by profligate finishing that could come back to haunt his side.
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