If Tottenham are to triumph in Switzerland this evening then they must do so without talisman Gareth Bale, who will be absent as a result of the ankle injury he sustained in the first leg at White Hart Lane seven days ago. Joining the Welshman on the sidelines will be fellow winger Aaron Lennon and experienced defender William Gallas, who were both also substituted during the entertaining 2-2 draw in North London.
Spurs’ chances of advancing to the semi-finals of this competition are certainly hanging in the balance, and the task will be made all the more difficult without Bale, as his team have not won a game without him in the side since January 1. Despite only having lost one game in the Europa League this season, Andre Villas-Boas’s men are without a win away from home in the competition. A succession of four away draws was emphatically snapped at the San Siro with a 4-1 defeat to Inter in the Round of 16 and they travel to Switzerland to face a team who have won their last four Europe League home games without conceding a single goal.
Basel, who beat Manchester United at St. Jakob Park to deny them a place in last year’s Champions League knockout stages, were mightily impressive during the first leg, and will perhaps have been a touch disappointed not to have returned to Switzerland with a prized away win. Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah was in sensational form at White Hart Lane and his side’s two away goals certainly put them in pole position to qualify for the final four.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm
Tottenham 2 (Adebayor, Sigurdsson) Basel 2 (Stocker, Frei), Europa League, knock-out phase, April 2013
If Basel progress to the final four, it will be the first time they have reached the semi-final of a European competition in their history.
Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer has played every minute of the Swiss club’s Europa league campaign since the group stage.
Tottenham are the only club left in the competition who have won it before, last lifting the UEFA Cup in 1984.
At 41 years of age, Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel is the oldest player left in this season’s Europa League.
Basel to win: 2.52
Tottenham to win: 2.98
TV: Live on ITV at 8.05pm.
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