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A lack of options will see the Portuguese confidently deploy the winger up front in the Europa League, whilst he remains wary of Basel's abilities head of Thursday's first-leg tie

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has stated his belief that Gareth Bale is "most effective" as a striker ahead of his side's Europa League clash with Basel on Thursday.

With Emmanuel Adebayor unable to find the net in the Premier League since New Years' Day and Jermain Defoe sidelined for up to 10 days with a groin injury, the Portuguese tactician appears set to start his star winger up front against the Swiss outfit.

And with the Welshman having scored 12 goals in all competitions so far in 2013, Villas-Boas has expressed his confidence in Bale's ability to play in a centre-forward role.

PREMIER LEAGUE IS PRIORITY - AVB
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"With his run of form, as a striker he is most effective," the 35-year-old coach told The Daily Mirror.

"He is extremely comfortable playing as a striker. The more he plays there the more he is likely to be helping the team."

Villas-Boas also spoke highly of his side's quarter-final opponents, citing the reigning Swiss Super League title holders' Champions League experience as a particular danger facing his side.

"Basel have European experience that we don’t have," he continued. "They have had tremendous results against United, Sporting and Bayern - teams they have surprised.

"The quarter-finalists are all difficult teams to play because all eight teams believe they can win the trophy. The key to the game will be the motivation of the teams and the quality of the individuals.

"You have to admit we have superior players but their recent European experience in the Champions League makes them also one of the favourites."
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