Villas-Boas hopes to give youth a Europa League chance

The Portuguese wants to seal qualification for the knockout stages as soon as possible so he can give he more inexperienced members of his squad a taste of continental football
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that he is hoping to use the Europa League to blood a number of young players.

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, meaning a win would guarantee progression to the knockout stages.

Victory would therefore put Villas-Boas in the enviable position of being able to do as he pleases in Tottenham's final two games.

"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," the Portuguese coach 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 unequivocal in his response.

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