Tottenham - FC Basel Preview: Spurs continue Europa League hunt
Andre Villas-Boas' side face the Swiss league leaders in the first-leg of their quarter-final at White Hart Lane, in the first ever meeting between the two sides
By Ryan Bailey
Walker, Dawson, Gallas, Vertonghen
Lennon, Dembele, Bale
Steinhofer, Sauro, Dragovic, Schar
Salah, Die, Frei, Stocker
With the exception of striker Jermain Defoe, Tottenham have a fully-fit squad at their disposal for the Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash with FC Basel at White Hart Lane.
The England international has been ruled out of at least the next three games with a muscular injury so Emmanuel Adebayor will once again play the lone striker role.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has recovered from the knee problem that saw him miss Saturday's 2-1 win over Swansea and will be a part of the squad but, Brad Friedel who is the preferred option in the Europa League is likely to keep his place between the posts.
Both Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon returned from injury for the victory at the Liberty Stadium and the duo are expected to start on Thursday, while William Gallas and Jake Livermore should be recalled.
Villas-Boas also confirmed that young midfielder Tom Carroll remains side-lined with a hamstring complaing while Sandro and Younes Kaboul are also long-term absentees.
However, Marcelo Diaz, former Liverpool defender Philipp Degen and Park-Joo Ho are all suspended for the tie.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
The sides are meeting for the first time in Uefa competition.
- A 4-1 loss at Inter in their round of 16 second leg ended Tottenham's 10-game unbeaten run in Europe, which stretched back to last season's Europa League group stage.
- Defenders Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen have appeared in all 930 minutes of Tottenham's Europa League campaign.
- FC Basel are the sole reigning domestic champions still in the draw. They have also played more European matches this term than any other surviving team (16), having begun their continental campaign in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.
- The Swiss side have picked up 23 yellow cards and three red cards in this season's Europa League, the most in the competition.
- Alexander Frei (pictured) will hang up his boots in the summer, and has scored the most European club competition goals of any of the players left in the competition: 32 in 59 games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 2-0 Basel
- 21.78 %
Tottenham 3-0 Basel
- 17.03 %
Tottenham 3-1 Basel
- 14.83 %
|Europa League (EL)||11 Apr 2013||Basel 2 - Tottenham 2|
|Europa League (EL)||4 Apr 2013||Tottenham 2 - Basel 2|
|2 Mar 2014||Tottenham 1 - Cardiff City 0||EPL|
|27 Feb 2014||Tottenham 3 - Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1||EL|
|23 Feb 2014||Norwich City 1 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|20 Feb 2014||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1 - Tottenham 0||EL|
|12 Feb 2014||Newcastle United 0 - Tottenham 4||EPL|
|-||G. Serey Die||Midfielder|
|-||Mohamed El Nenny||Midfielder|
While Bale has been taking all the plaudits this season, former Fulham man Dembele has quietly gone about exerting his influence on the team. His neat footwork and strength mean he rarely loses the ball, and plays a large part in freeing up space for others to exploit.
The veteran was on target in the victory over Zenit, scoring from the penalty spot in what proved to be the decisive goal in a 2-1 aggregate win. Spurs will have to be wary of the 33-year-old.
Basel are certain to be tricky opposition, having knocked out the high-spending Zenit St Petersburg in the previous round. However, if Tottenham play to their potential as they did in their first leg against Inter at White Hart Lane, they should have more than enough to secure a win - especially if Gareth Bale is on form.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed