Soccer Premier League

Why Tottenham Must Play Exceptionally Well to Progress in Europa League

Brad Friedel conceded two goals against FC Basel in the first leg

Image courtesy of the BBC

After a limited and weak Tottenham side drew 2-2 at home to F.C Basel in the first leg on their Europa League quarter-final clash, Spurs face an uphill battle to make it into the next round.

Spurs, who will be without star wide men Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, will find it very difficult to win in Switzerland considering Basel caused Tottenham serious problems at White Hart Lane. The visitors missed a collection of guilt-edged chances in the first tie, leaving Tottenham lucky to escape with the 2-2 draw.

Tottenham will certainly be relying on the attacking threat posed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lewis Holtby, Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor. Andre Villas-Boas may decide to give a few opportunities to the younger players, such as Tom Carroll or Cameron Lancaster, but he tends to go with first-team players in the Europa League. This clearly indicates AVB’s intention to win the tournament, which he has won before with Porto.

Tottenham do not play a Premier League fixture this weekend, which could be a slight blessing. It gives the club time to get key players fit and give the squad a mini-break, which they certainly need after a few below-par performances.

It would be a big honor for Tottenham to win, considering they haven’t won a major competition since 2008, and haven’t won a European trophy since 1984.

But, it’s vitally important that Tottenham are able to maintain their focus and drive domestically, as Champions League qualification remains their top priority, or at least it should be.

Progressing to the semi-finals is not impossible, but very difficult. Basel offer great pace all over the pitch, as well as the ability to pick out incisive through-balls, which frequently caught Tottenham out in the first leg. Spurs will need their defense to be as sharp as ever and their creative players to be in tip-top form to get the required result.