Andre Villas Boas’s Tottenham squad has had an impressive Europa League run thus far. After beating Lyon and Inter Milan, the Lilywhites will host Basel at White Hart Lane tonight for their first quarter-final leg.
Although Gareth Bale remains the north London club’s main playmaker, midfielder Mousa Dembele has been in tremendous form in Europa League play. During Tottenham’s round of 16 tie against Inter Milan, Dembele has completed a staggering 131 passes out of his 138 attempts. The midfielder’s 95% passing efficiency helped his club score four goals, including their all-important away goal.
Tottenham must continue their attacking efficiency during their tie against Swiss powerhouse Basel. With striker Jermain Defoe expected to miss both matches with a muscle injury, Dembele’s midfield should be expected to play an even larger offensive role. They will need precise and efficient passing to score against Basel, who have kept clean sheets in five of their past six Europa League matches.
Although Tottenham are favoured to win the tie, Basel arguably have superior experience. Last season, the club knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League.