Tottenham face arguably the easiest quarter final tie of the three English teams remaining in the Europa League though they will be wary of taking FC Basel too lightly after the Swiss side dismissed Manchester United from the group stage of last season’s Champions League.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has made no attempts to hide the fact that he wishes to win the competition that he triumphed in with Porto in the 2010-11 season, a fact that has arguably impacted on his side’s league form with defeats to Liverpool and then Fulham sandwiched between their success over Inter Milan in the last 16.
The Lilywhites will be without striker Jermain Defoe due to a long-standing groin niggle while Younes Kaboul remains sidelined. However, Hugo Llories and Clint Dempsey are back in the squad after picking up knocks on international duty.
“Jermain is a new injury blow,” said Villas-Boas.
“He is likely to miss the next two games against Basel and Everton, but has a small chance [of returning] for the second leg against Basel.”
The England striker’s absence means that the task falls to Emmanuel Adebayor and the in-form Gareth Bale to lead the Spurs forward line.
Basel may have made huge strides in the Champions League last season though they have since sold influential midfielders Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka to Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively.
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