Villas-Boas: Lyon win can propel Tottenham to Europa League glory

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Andre Villas-Boas believes Tottenham can go on and win the Europa League this season if they can navigate their way past Lyon.

Spurs go up against the French club in the 1st leg of their last-32 tie at White Hart Lane tonight.

Villas-Boas believes that getting past Lyon, who dropped just two points during the group stages and are currently 2nd in Ligue 1, will stand his side in good stead to make it all the way to the final in Amsterdam.

"It's a difficult tie against a team that is very, very experienced and have many trophies in the bag. They also have a lot of experience in the Champions League," the Portuguese boss told Tottenham's official website.

"Our players are motivated to do well in this competition and they know that if they beat Lyon, it will serve as further inspiration for the rest of the tournament." 

Under Villas-Boas, Spurs have taken the Europa League much more seriously than in recent years, and the 35-year-old appears set on replicating his success in the competition with Porto in 2011.

Despite his desire to win the Europa League, Villas-Boas urged his Spurs side not to underestimate their opponents tonight.

"It's a big game and there is big motivation," he said.

"They have lots of young players coming through, particularly Gonalons and Lovren. They also have experienced players like Malbranque, who can give them the extra edge. 

 "They sit second in the [Ligue 1] table at the moment but have massively improved since last year."

Villas-Boas has confirmed that Brad Friedel will start in goal for Spurs ahead of former Lyon shotstopper Hugo Lloris, while both Tom Huddlestone and Jermain Defoe miss out through injury.

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Europa League
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