Villas-Boas hopes to give Tottenham youth a Europa League chance

The Spurs manager wants to ensure his side's qualification at the top of Group K as soon as possible so as to allow younger players a taste of continental football
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is keen to secure qualification at the top of Europa League Group K sooner rather than later so as to be able to field more youth without pressure.

With a perfect record so far in the competition, Spurs hold a five-point lead over second-placed Anzhi Makhachkala heading into Thursday's match against Sheriff, in which a win would guarantee progression to the knockout stages.

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"Would we look to play some of the young players? There is that possibility, yes, and, if we ensure qualification, first place, we will probably do that," Villas-Boas told reporters.

"I don't want to step too far ahead because we need to push the boys for that deserved start but, as soon as we achieve it, we can look at it as an opportunity to throw them in to a senior game."

Asked if 18-year-old midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, who was named on the bench during Wednesday's Capital One Cup match against Hull City, could feature in the Europa League, the Portuguese was optimistic.

"Nabil, definitely, is training so well that he is always in contention to break in to the team," he enthused.