Swiss club Basel travels to London to face the Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane in their opening leg of UEFA's Europa League quarterfinals.
- (Photo: Reuters/Eddie Keogh)
Current Swiss league leaders Basel and manager Murat Yakin are confident heading to face the north London team after putting away Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 on aggregate in the last round of the Europa competition.
While they were able to secure the quarterfinal birth after going down to 10 men in their last match, Basel has yet to win away from home during the Europa competition this year. They are heading into the match as underdogs against a team that is currently third in the Premier League.
But despite their pre-match standings, Basel plays aggressive defense and have conceded just one goal in their last five games, meaning that Spurs' Gareth Bale will be their main target going into the match.
Tottenham's new star has netted 27 goals so far this season in all competitions and will once again be called upon to produce. Jermain Defore went down with an injury and Emmanuel Adebayor has yet to hit his full stride after coming back to the starting lineup.
Given the absence of scorers in the Spurs lineup, manger Andre Villa-Boas will have to move Bale from his normally wide position on the field to a more central-striking role, making him the main target for Scott Parker
"With his run of form, as a striker he is most effective … He is extremely comfortable playing as a striker. The more he plays there the more he is likely to be helping the team," Villas-Boas told reporters during a press conference.
"The quarter-finalists are all difficult teams to play because all eight teams believe they can win the trophy … The key to the game will be the motivation of the teams and the quality of the individuals," he added.
Kick-off for the match is at 3:05 p.m. ET and can be watched online here.