|OPPONENTS||FC Basel (Switzerland)|
|COMPETITION||Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg|
|DATE||Thursday 11th April 2013|
|VENUE||St. Jakobs Stadium|
Spurs travel to Switzerland knowing that the home side only have to draw at 0-0 or 1-1 to go through and having three of their players back in the side who were suspended for the first leg - all defenders - will help them maintain their reputation as a parsimonious side at home.
However, Tottenham go into the second leg without the attacking threat of Bale, Lennon and Defoe. So, on the cards, it looks like the two away goals that Basel got last week at the Lane might be enough to see them through. But, don't rule out the Spurs fighting spirit. While the results might not be exactly what we are expecting, the performances are showing that while the injured trio are away, the side are still battling to stay in the hunt on two fronts. Coming back from two down against a very slick Basel side and then getting a draw after going behind to Everton takes some doing. And there is the incentive of not having a game this weekend to inspire a performance full of effort.
Spurs must not be too gung-ho though and the Swiss side will take advantage should they push forward too recklessly. The thing in Tottenham's favour is that they have come from behind in both the last two rounds to go through and the side have a few players who are on a god run of scoring. Both Vertonghen and Sigurdsson have got a few goals of late and Emmanuel Adebayor is starting to score the goals we need from him. With the team looking a little more sluggish in attack without their pace men, there is still a flow with the team producing chances, driven on by Mousa Dembele. While they lack the width without Bale and Lennon, movement by the other midfielders will pull Basel out of their positions, but they are a well drilled outfit, with their manager a former defender, so he knows what he wants from them.
Breaking them down won't be easy, but we still have to ensure that they don't get much at the other end. Right winger Salah looks a great prospect ... even if he doesn't score enough for his manager's liking. And other players in the side are dangerous, with their quick, accurate passing and fast movement off the ball. Spurs need to be compact, but not so much so that they leave the flanks unprotected. Streller is a tall centre forward, but they don't play to his height in open play that much, preferring to keep the ball on the grass, so his movement will need to be tracked and I can see Villas Boas sticking with Dawson and Vertonghen in the middle, with Naughton coming in for Benny at left back to use his pace to counter Salah's, with Walker returning after suspension on the other side.
There is a decision to be made with Dempsey's inclusion after a disappointing display on Sunday, but options are limited and he will probably start with Clint playing behind Ade, using the same other midfielders in the hope of getting them involved in the box. If things look like they are not going well, AVB may well use the same tactic as on Sunday, by bringing Tom Huddlestone on to open up the play with his expansive passing.
I am not sure I agree with Gordon Strachan's assertion that Basel can't play that well again, as they have had some good Champions League results against top sides and Spurs will need to be at their best to get through, but I think they might be able to ... although it will be a nail-biter ... and could go all the way ... again !!
|PREDICTION||FC Basel 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
FC BASEL TEAM
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs have Gareth Bale (ankle), Jermain Defoe (groin), Aaron Lennon (knee), William Gallas (calf), Sandro (knee) and Younes Kaboul (knee). Kyle Walker is back after being suspended for the first leg and youngsters Shaquile Coulthirst, Cristian Ceballos and Milos Velkjovic have gone out to Switzerland with the squad.
ITV 1 - 20:00 (live)
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
FC Basel 2 (1)
(After extra time - score 2-2 at 90 mins. Basel win 4-1 on penalties)
Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg
Thursday 11th April 2013
Venue : St. Jakob's Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (1)
Kick off 20:05
Penalties : -
F. Frei (scored)
Penalties : -
Die (foul on Holtby) 58
Streller (retaliation) 90+4
Elneny (foul on Sigurdsson) 103
Naughton (foul on Salah) 39
Dembele (foul on Stocker) 45
Dempsey (dissent) 52
Dawson (dissent) 90+4
Walker (dissent) 90+4
|Crowd : 18,000||Weather : Heavy rain throughout|
|Referee : Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)||Assistant Referees : João Santos; Ricardo Santos (POR|
|Fourth Official : Venâncio Tomé (POR)||Additional Assistants : - Manuel De Sousa; Carlos Xistra (POR)|
|-||UEFA Delegate : - Panagiotis Chatzialexiou (GER)|
|Basel kicked off and played towards the Spurs supporters end in the first half.|
|FC Basel :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Marco STRELLER (c)
10 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR
|Manager : Murat Yakin||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : Novartis||Shirt sponsor : Investec|
|Kit Supplier : adidas||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
As the rain poured down in the
St. Jakob's Stadium, it was the same old story, as Spurs make any
sort of situation difficult ... even going out of Europe. Not
content with losing inside the regulation ninety minutes plus added
time, they like to give everyone their money's worth before going
out on penalties.
The first effort on goal
came from a Basel free-kick, given for a foul by Parker, after he
had been flattened by Die without a foul given. Tottenham's first
free-kick came to nothing when Vertonghen hit the defender and was
then wrestled to the ground when he went for the rebound. Again … no
free-kick. Eleven minutes in, Basel opened Spurs up down our
left and the cross found Salah coming in around the D, but his first
time volley flew well over the top.
So, with an exit from Europe, all we have to look forward to for the rest of the season is what European competition we will be in next season. Will it be the slog through round after round of Europa League football or the higher quality nature of the Champions League ? Whatever the outcome, you know it won't be achieved in the most straightforward way possible.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
Why are we so crap at penalties ?
Tom Huddlestone is one of the best strikers of a ball at the club, so why did he try and place it instead of putting his foot through it ? And why did Adebayor try to be too clever in putting the ball in the very top corner and over-cooking it ?
As soon as we got to the end of 120 minutes, you knew it was all going to go wrong. Having put in so much effort in keeping Basel out in extra time with a man short, it was a tired set of players who stepped up to take the spot-kicks.
Where this leaves our season I don't know. I would like to think our bad run is at an end, bnut with City next ... just coming into form and Chelsea later, it looks like the match at Stamford Bridge might be the play-off for Champions League this season.
After the last few games, I think we should change our motto to
"eam facere viam duram"
"Do it the hard way" !
|Other scores during this round :|
|Newcastle United||1||Benfica (POR) (won 4-2 on agg.)||1||Thursday|
|SS Lazio (ITA)||1||Fenerbahce (TUR) (won 3-1 on agg.)||1||Thursday|
|Rubin Kazan (RUS)||3||Chelsea (won 5-4 on agg.)||2||Thursday|
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