Dawson and Lennon back to help Spurs land the odds against Basel
Tottenham will be keen to banish the memory of a truly woeful European performance at San Siro on their last continental venture and that’s not the only reason they’ll need to win this evening. The Lilywhites have yet to grab a Europa League away victory in five attempts and their Swiss adversaries are in formidable form at home, winning 11 of their last 12 games. Tottenham are 4/11 to win tonight with Coral, who make the draw 7/2 and a Basel win 8/1.
Andre Villas-Boas, the sole Europa League winning manager left in the competition, will be pleased to welcome first-teamers Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon back to contention after injury, with the pair likely to start on Thursday. Their importance for the chemistry of the Spurs team is clear, they’re unbeaten in the 16 games they’ve started together this term, winning on 11 occasions.
Spurs floodlit quest for first leg victory will be aided by their guests away record, which is eyebrow-raisingly poor for reigning domestic champions. Basel have failed to succeed in 13 of their 20 away games this season.
However the Swiss have lost just once in all competitions in 11 games since they returned from their winter break, which is approximately two months in length, on the tenth of February. Their sole loss came in Russia, when they ultimately saw off Liverpool’s conquerors Zenit 2-1 on aggregate despite a 1-0 reverse on the night.
Tottenham’s tendency towards more expansive football in the home legs of their European matches has meant that their last four matches in the competition have produced over 2.5 goals, which can be backed at 8/13 with Coral.
If there are goals to be scored then their creators are there to be bet on and neither team has a goalscorer more prolific than Lilywhites all-purpose defender Jan Vertonghen at present. The Belgian, signed from Ajax in the summer, has notched six goals this term with four of them coming in his last seven outings. He can be backed at 16/1 to score first or to score last or 6/1 any time.