Tottenham Hotspur vs. FC Basel preview: What is a Europa League title worth?

Paul Gilham

Spurs are all-in on the Europa League as they prepare to host Basel.

Once again, the question of whether the Europa League title is worth chasing is back. This time, Scott Parker chimed in, or at least kind of did while dancing around the dilemma.

"I know for a fact that every one of us in that changing room wants to go on and try to win something," Parker said. "The Europa League is a big competition, with big teams in it, and if you win it, you've done bloody well."

Undoubtedly the trophy would be wonderful, but is is worth risking league slipups to pursue? Parker wouldn't say and Andre Villas-Boas has refused to consider the question all season, insisting that the team can win the competition without risking a Champions League place. Any implication to the contrary has been dismissed out of hand.

But with Spurs just four points clear of Arsenal and a tough run of Everton, Chelsea then Manchester City coming up, it bears asking: can Spurs compete on two fronts? Moreover, is it worth resting Villas-Boas' assertion that they can?

Whether Tottenham should be chasing Europa League semi-glory or not, the reality is they are and it has taken them to the quarterfinals, where FC Basel awaits them.

Basel have cut down a slew of big clubs in European competition of late and hope Spurs will join Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Sporting Lisbon on the list of teams that have fallen at the hands of the Swiss Super League's defending champions. Basel weren't gifted a spot in this round either, being matched up against Zenit St. Petersburg, in addition to Sporting, already in the competition.

The question for Spurs will be either they can keep Alexander Frei and Marco Steller in check. If they can then every Gareth Bale touch could be the match-winning goal. That's the same Gareth Bale Basel has said they will not pay extra special attention to.

Bale goals, ahoy. And the Europa League semifinals too?

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