Sport Soccer

Saturday 25 November 2017

Villas-Boas urges in-form Spurs to show Champions League class

Paul Hirst

Andre Villas-Boas has challenged Tottenham to show they are capable of cutting it in the Champions League by beating Lyon tonight.

Villas-Boas will take one more step towards securing his second Europa League trophy if Spurs overcome Lyon in their second-round first-leg game against the French club at White Hart Lane.

While manager Villas-Boas regards the competition highly, Tottenham would surely forfeit their place in the Europa League if it meant they qualified for the Champions League.

Spurs supporters long for a return to the biggest club competition in Europe, and the team are currently on course for qualification via the league, where they sit in fourth with 12 games to go.

Given that Lyon possess such stars as Lisandro Lopez, Yoann Gourcuff and Bafetimbi Gomis, Villas-Boas believes Lyon should be playing in the Champions League.

"I think we've been handed the most difficult draw. This is like a Champions League tie. Lyon represent a club with tremendous Champions League experience in recent years. It will be a good test for Tottenham."

Villas-Boas has made it clear that he is completely averse to the idea that the Europa League is a weak competition and insists success will help his team thrive domestically.

He will therefore name a full-strength line-up for the visit of Lyon, who are second in Ligue 1, but with one exception.

Villas-Boas revealed that Hugo Lloris is likely to be on the bench for the visit of his former club as he wants to give Brad Friedel a run-out. "Most likely Brad is going to be in goal," the Portuguese said.

Tottenham v Lyon,

Live, UTV, 8.05

Irish Independent

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