Spurs 7/4 need win at Basel after underestimating Swiss last week
Basel were sufficiently unfancied in their first leg of their Europa League quarter final clash with Tottenham that they were sent off 8/1 underdogs, yet they’ll run out for the second leg with every chance of qualification after a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane which they probably should have won. The creative Swiss side are 4/6 to qualify for the semi finals and 6/4 to win in Basel.
Going on a broad view of their season’s results, they may have been expected to struggle. Having won the Swiss League last term, they’d slipped out of the Champions League in the qualifying rounds and were scrapping for form in all competitions well into the winter – winning just seven games before October the 28th.
The talented youngsters Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaquiri – to Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively – who had helped the team qualify for last season’s Champions League knock out stages at the expense of Manchester United left in the summer and it seems to have taken the team some time to recover its equilibrium.
Even now Murat Yakin’s outfit can hardly point to exemplary away form having won just seven times on the road in all competitions this term.
Yet closer examination of their form would have intimated that the hibernation-like winter break in their snowbound homeland, some two months in length, served as something of a watershed for the RotBlau. Since their return to competitive action on February 10th they’ve lost just once in 13 games – and that a 1-0 way reverse to Russian champions Zenit – with eight wins recorded in the process.
Tottenham were outwitted for much of the game by a team that combines vastly experienced Champions League and international players like Marco Streller with exciting young talents liek speedy and enterprising winger Mohammed Salah and 22-year-old Valentin Stocker, who has already captained the side at continental level this season.
Basel may remain mortal away from home, but at St Jakob Park they’ve been imperious for much of the campaign, winning 11 of their last 12 games there. More worrying for those of a Lilywhite persuasion, given the two away goals their side shipped in the first leg, is the defensive stinginess that has seen Yakin’s men keep 11 consecutive clean sheets in front of their own fans. A Basel clean sheet is 27/10 with Coral whilst a home win to-nil can be backed at 19/5.