Bale aiming to drive Spurs to Europa League last-16

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Gareth Bale says Tottenham are ready to catch Lyon on the break and secure their place in the next round of the Europa League when they take on the Ligue 1 contenders this evening.

Spurs hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg - earned thanks to two sublime free-kicks from Bale - and will progress to the last-16 if they achieve a draw or better at the Stade Gerland tonight.

Tottenham defender William Gallas instead earlier this week that they won't sit back to try and hold out for a draw, and Bale says the game is set up perfectly for the north London side to strike on the counter-attack.

“The good thing is that they are going to have to come at us now as they’re behind in the tie," the Welshman explained.

“Hopefully that will leave space in behind. It is going to be a difficult game as they made it difficult for us in patches.

“But it was great to get the goals in the first leg.

“The most important thing was that we got the victory which obviously gives us a little bit of an advantage going into the second leg.”

Tottenham's January signing Lewis Holtby will get his first taste of an away Europa League trip with Spurs in Lyon, and the German is confident his new side will progress to the next round - and can then go on and win the competition.

"Taking a 2-1 lead going to Lyon is a massive boost and I think we are confident enough to say we are going through," he said.

“Can we win the Europa League? Of course we can.

“I think we’ve got the team and the quality to go to the final. But we must still work hard and the Lyon game will be a very tough one.”

Brad Friedel is expected to start in goal for Spurs once more this evening, with Hugo Lloris on the bench for his first game back in Lyon since leaving for White Hart Lane in the summer.

Jermain Defoe is still sideliend with an ankle injury and is facing a race against time to be for for Tottenham's Premier League clash against West Ham on Monday, with Emmanuel Adebayor likley to start up front.

Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale
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