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UEFA Europa League

  • 11 April 2013
  • • 20:05
  • • St. Jakob-Park, Basel
  • Referee: Olegário Manuel Benquerenca
  • • Attendance: 36500

Aggregate 4 - 4, Basel win 4 - 1 on penalties

Basel - Tottenham Preview: Spurs face stern test to keep European quest alive

Basel - Tottenham Preview: Spurs face stern test to keep European quest alive

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After a late Gylfi Sigurdsson equaliser spared his side’s blushes at White Hart Lane, Andre Villas-Boas will look to up the ante as his injury-blighted squad travel to Switzerland



Steinhofer, Voser, Dragovic, Schar
Salah, Cabral, F Frei, Stocker
Strellar, A Frei

Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Sigurdsson, Parker, Dembele, Holtby, Dempsey

After being punished for their complacency at White Hart Lane, Tottenham are in need of a stellar showing to seal victory on their travels for the first time in six outings.

And with William Gallas (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee) and talisman Gareth Bale (ankle) all becoming fresh additions to the Spurs treatment table after last week’s encounter, Andre Villas-Boas will be forced into a number of changes to the starting line-up.

With Jermaine Defoe aggravating an ongoing pelvic injury, Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to lead the line on Thursday, whilst Kyle Naughton is expected to make way for Kyle Walker as the bustling right-back returns from suspension.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is likely to be handed a start after his late equaliser against Everton, alongside Michael Dawson who is expected to fill in for the injured Gallas and Brad Friedel will once again come in for Hugo Lloris.

Basel were little short of a revelation in the first leg, with Marco Strellar, Valentin Stocker and Mohamad Salah all asking a number of questions of the Tottenham rearguard.

The tricky trio are all expected to start Thursday’s clash and may be joined by the experienced Alexander Frei if coach Murat Yakin elects to field two strikers on home turf.

Park Joo-Ho and Marcelo Diaz are both back in contention after returning from suspension, whilst the now-fit Cabral could claim a place in the starting eleven after his second half-cameo at White Hart Lane.

Philipp Degen has also recovered from injury, but is unlikely to displace Mohamed Salah in the starting eleven after the Egyptian’s sterling performance in the first leg.

  • Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel is the oldest player left in this year’s competition and, at 41, is older than both Andre Villas-Boas and Basel coach Murat Yakin.
  • Jan Vertonghen (pictured right) has appeared in all 1020 minutes of Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.
  • Spurs and Rubin Kazan are the only two survivors from the seven clubs granted automatic entry to the Europa League at the group stage.
  • Tottenham have not won a game in any competition without the injured Gareth Bale scoring since New Years Day.
  • Basel have tasted defeat just once since November, when they lost 1-0 away to Zenit St Petersburg in the last-16 of the Europa League.
  • The Swiss champions have won their last four home Europa League games without conceding a single goal.
  • Basel have picked up 23 yellow cards and three red cards in this year’s competition, more so than any other side.

Players to watch

V. Stocker

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Whilst Mohamed Salah and Marco Strellar both put in superb showings in the first leg, Valentin Stocker provided the real driving force behind Basel’s counterattacking success. The fleet-footed winger was pivotal, opening the scoring for the visitors and providing the assist for his side’s second. With eagle-eyed vision and the ability to cut inside and dictate proceedings, the 23-year-old has been the leading source of assists for the reigning Swiss champions and will be crucial in Basel’s bid to secure a semi-final berth.

G. Sigurðsson

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Starts have been hard to come by for the Iceland international since his summer move from Hoffenheim, but Sigurdsson has recently displayed the sort of form that earned him two consecutive player of the year awards for Reading and Hoffenheim in 2009-10 and 2010-11. With Gareth Bale injured, the 23-year-old is more than capable of providing the creative spark to Spurs' attacking corps, and with a keen eye for goal he will no doubt prove one of Tottenham’s most vital outlets on Thursday.

Editor's Prediction

Despite being the heavy favourites to progress going into the first leg, the pendulum of expectation has most certainly swung in favour of the Swiss champions for the second. And despite no longer having the advantage of being a relatively unknown quantity to Villas-Boas' men, Basel have an impressive home record to fall back on at a ground that has witnessed victories against Bayern Munich and Manchester United within the last 12 months.

With Spurs battling to secure their main priority of achieving a top-four finish after some disappointing Premier League results, their depleted squad travel to St Jakob-Park as the favourites to come away empty-handed.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Tottenham Hotspur


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Basel 1893 BAS
FC Basel 1893 Basel
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham Hotspur

Top 3 Predictions

FC Basel 1893 BAS
1 - 2
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
FC Basel 1893 BAS
2 - 1
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
FC Basel 1893 BAS
1 - 1
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT