Tottenham v Basle: Key battles

Scott Parker presence in the Spurs midfield may be necessary to subdue Basle's Mohamed Salah. Photo: PA

Tottenham welcome FC Basle to White Hart Lane tomorrow for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final.

The north London club have enjoyed an impressive season thus far, having overcome Lyon and Inter Milan in this competition and currently sitting in third place in the Premier League.

Here we assess where the game will be won and lost as the Swiss Super League champions look to claim another major scalp in European football, following shock victories over Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the last two years.


Bale has been nothing short of unstoppable for Spurs this season, and his return of 17 goals in 27 Premier League appearances has led to many comparing him to the world's leading players Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The Welshman has hit top form at the business end of the season as he aims to help cement his side's spot in the top four, and win the first trophy of his career in the Europa League. Degen has faced Bale previously, during a wretched spell with Liverpool where he only made seven appearances due to injury, and will be fully aware of the danger he poses. The Swiss right-back must be wary of giving away free-kicks within shooting range or risk being punished by Bale's left foot.


In a battle of youth versus experience, Parker will be expected to offer Tottenham's back four added protection from the threat of Salah. The defensive midfielder, who has not scored in 55 games for his club, will have to perform with his usual discipline to stop the 20-year-old Egyptian from finding space between the Spurs midfield and defence. As a player who loves to cut in from the right wing, Salah has chipped in with an impressive six goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for Basle and has reportedly attracted interest from several major European teams.


Vertonghen has had a hugely impressive debut season with Spurs, becoming a key part of Andre Villas-Boas' first choice defence and while his priority will be to deal with Streller - Basle's top scorer with 17 goals in 31 games in all competitions - and help his side keep a clean sheet, the Belgian will have some freedom to go forward where possible. Currently outscoring Emmanuel Adebayor, Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon with seven goals so far this season, Vertonghen may make the difference at both ends of the pitch.