Speaking to Gianluca Di Marzio, Fiorentina head coach Paulo Sousa has reacted to La Viola’s Europa League draw with Tottenham Hotspur, admitting that he expects an intense environment at White Hart Lane.
Sousa said: “Tottenham will be a fascinating and challenging game. The English team has great quality, great players and a coach with international experience who knows how to transmit his playing style yo his team. At White Hart Lane, I expect to find an intense environment. We will have 180 minutes to play at high intensity, to do everything to win this confrontation.”
This Spurs v Fiorentina tie is a replication of last year’s Europa League campaign, which saw the Serie A club triumph over Mauricio Pochettino’s side over two legs.
A 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane was not enough for Spurs, who ended up losing 2-0 at the Artemio Franchi, and being knocked out of the competition.
The stakes are high in the Europa League, with success offering Champions League qualification, and Pochettino may be willing to take the competition more seriously this term.
Last season’s ties were put on the back burner due to the League Cup Final, but with no distractions this year, Pochettino could believe winning the Europa League will be more likely than securing a top four Premier League finish.
However, Fiorentina themselves have ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League, and are currently just four points off top spot in Serie A. They will be taking the competition seriously, and Spurs will face a real challenge to overcome the Italian giants when the Round of 32 ties start in February.