Spurs have spent their world-record windfall wisely on putting together a strong squad and our tipster expects Andre Villas-Boas to put it to good use in Europe this seasonWhile Gareth Bale’s sensational switch to Real Madrid may have cost Tottenham their best player, the world record, €100 million fee has enabled Andre Villas-Boas to build a squad that is better equipped to fight on several fronts this season.
|Europa League Winner 2013/14
|Odds from William Hill
That price seems more than fair considering the depth of talent at the club’s disposal and Villas-Boas can now continue fielding strong teams without the fear of too detrimental an effect on league form, as arguably occurred last season.
A relatively kind group stage draw should ensure the Londoners’ presence in the knock-out stages, when their boss’ experience of winning the trophy in 2011 will prove a massive strength on the road to potential glory.
Although many of the strongest contenders may come from Champions League drop-outs, a Fiorentina side that only narrowly missed out Europe’s elite competition themselves last season are definitely worth watching at 14/1 (15.0), while Valencia’s pedigree will also make them a threat, at 16/1 (17.0).
Lazio, PSV and Real Betis all offer tempting longer shots at 20/1 (21.0), although a star-studded Dynamo Kiev team and impressively put together Sevilla side perhaps offer better value at 25/1 (26.0) apiece, particularly given their group stage opponents.
That 25/1 (26.0) price is also available for a Swansea side who look completely at home in European competition so far, although English football’s other representatives Wigan are serious outsiders at 150/1 (151.0) to match their shock FA Cup win with victory in Turin next May.
Having reached the quarter-finals last season, Rubin Kazan may offer some temptation at 40/1 (41.0), as they look like the most likely out of the traditionally tricky Russian sides, with Anzhi Makhachkala 40/1 (41.0) having lost most of their star players and Kuban Krasnodar 40/1 (41.0) inexperienced at this level.
|Tottenham to win the 2013-14 Europa League for a 2pt stake at 6/1 (7.0) with William Hill
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.