Tottenham vs Basel

April 3, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

After suffering a narrow escape against Inter in the previous round, Tottenham will attempt to put this tie beyond doubt as early as possible. FC Basel surprised everyone by going this far, but having already reached the quarter-finals, the Swiss side will give their best to claim another major scalp and edge closer to the coveted title.

Crucial few weeks for Tottenham

Tottenham have become a genuine top 4 side over the last few years, and they would be playing Champions League football now had Chelsea not won the Europe’s elite competition last season. While many expected that Spurs would not take Europa League serious, it was just the opposite as Andre Villas-Boas showed everyone that he wants to go all the way by fielding very strong sides in all previous matches. It was believed that an incredible 3-0 win over Inter in the first leg would be enough for Spurs to make it through to the quarter-finals, but they opted to go the hard way and only qualified on away goals after scoring in extra time. Having restored some of the lost confidence with the valuable away win over Swansea, Tottenham can be trusted to attack Basel from the off and there is a good chance we will see a repeat of the Inter match. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon are finally fully fit and that should make all the difference for the White Hart Lane outfit.

Andre Villas-Boas is likely to make a couple of changes to the side that faced Swansea, with Brad Friedel and Jermain Defoe both expected to start.

Tough task for Basel

FC Basel have been making steady progress of late, with the team becoming regular in European competitions, although they obviously lack some quality to reach the final stages and fight for the trophy. The Swiss champions did themselves proud with their showings in this year’s Europa League, coming second in their group before eliminating Dnipro and Zenit to reach the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Murat Yakin’s men have climbed to the top of the league standings, which could mean their league campaign has the priority at the moment. Even if the players will be looking to give their best at White Hart Lane, they might not be able to do so, having played their league match against Luzern on Monday. With the hectic schedule set to continue over the next few weeks, Basel players could suffer as they are not really used to playing two games a week. Having gone seven games without an away win in Europe, the Swiss side clearly face a mountain to climb in North London.

Raul Bobadilla was finally handed his debut at the weekend, but he is set to start on the bench. Murat Yakin has no fresh selection worries.


Having completely outclassed one of Italy’s top sides last time out, Tottenham look a good bet to record a comfortable win over Basel. The Swiss side largely struggle on the travels and the obvious difference in class is likely to prevent them from getting anything from this match.

Top pick: Tottenham with -1.5 Asian handicap   2.10 (11/10) @ bet365

Alternative pick 1: Tottenham/Tottenham   2.00 (1/1) @ Paddy Power

Alternative pick 2: Tottenham to score two or more   1.50 (1/2) @ Stan James

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