Which Champions League teams pose a threat to Spurs?

With progression decided in both European tournaments, which teams dropping into the Europa League will pose a threat to Tottenham Hotspur?

Andre Villas-Boas' side went through to the knockout stages after topping Group K, winning every game and conceding just two goals in the process. Admittedly, the group was fairly simple, with just Anzhi Makhachkala, Tromso and FC Sherriff standing in their way.

The former Porto manager takes the Europa League fairly seriously having won the tournament with the Portuguese side in 2011, but he saw Spurs lose to Basel in the quarter finals last year, and the 36 year old will be hoping to take his team even further this time around.

But the Europa League is about to get more difficult, with the third placed teams from each Champions League group set to enter the tournament. With some dangerous teams now in the mix, who should Tottenham be wary of in their quest for a European trophy?

Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk finished third in Group A and with a number of talented Brazilians – Bernard, Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Wellington Nem, Fred and Fernando – they can pose a threat to even the best. Former Arsenal striker Eduardo has rediscovered his goalscoring touch this season, and will be hoping to torment Spurs should the two sides meet at some point.

The big side dropping out of the Champions League is Italian champions Juventus. Their 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray in the weather-hit game saw the Turkish side go through to the knockouts and consign Juve to the Europa League. Antonio Conte's men won just one game in the Champions League, a 3-1 home victory over group minnows FC Copenhagen. Despite their struggles, Conte can still call upon a number of stars such as Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, and everyone will want to avoid the new bookies' favourites.

Two Portuguese sides will be hoping to dump Villas-Boas out of the tournament, including his former team Porto. Benfica were pipped in the Champions League by Olympiacos, whilst Porto had a desperately disappointing campaign, earning just one win and finishing with five points, but were still just a point behind second placed Zenit St. Petersburg. Villas-Boas will be familiar with a number of players from the two sides, which would hopefully work in Spurs' advantage if they drew one of them.

Last year's nemesis Basel are also in the draw, with rumoured target Mohamed Salah likely to be the dangerman. Napoli have been made third favourites but owner Aurelio de Laurentiis has played down the importance of the tournament, suggesting it is “worthless”. As a result, Napoli could be a difficult side to predict, but with Rafa Benitez at the helm, a deep run could be on the cards. Finally, Christian Eriksen's former side Ajax have some talented youngsters that could do some damage to Spurs, but Viktoria Plzen wouldn't be expected to challenge.

The bookies make Spurs second favourites to lift the Europa League title at the moment, and the draw on Monday could shape their chances. If Roberto Soldado can continue the scoring form he showed last night against Anzhi, Spurs have every chance of bettering last year's quarter final exit. The seeding of the draw means Spurs can only face Juventus, Ajax and Porto, but they should certainly be aiming to get past the first round of knockout games.

image: © Denise&David

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