Fiorentina boss Paulo Sousa has high praise for Tottenham Hotspur

Paulo Sousa says that Spurs are a very different proposition to when his side faced them last season.

Fiorentina manager Paulo Sousa has told reporters that Tottenham Hotspur are a completely different team to last season ahead of Thursday's Europa League last-32 clash between the two sides, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

The Serie A side, then under the rule of Vincenzo Montella, knocked out an in-form but much-changed Spurs XI 3-1 on aggregate at the same stage of the competition last season just days before Mauricio Pochettino's side lost the Capital One Cup final 2-0 to Chelsea.

However, this season's Tottenham go into Thursday's first leg second in the Premier League table and on the back of seven consecutive wins in all competitions.

Sousa believes that as a result, this year's tie will be a much more difficult task for his side. He told reporters: "It's a different Tottenham from last year. Players have come into their squad who are giving more and they've managed to rotate throughout the season while maintaining very high levels, and that's important.

"They have a lot of quality, so even an injury doesn't make them weaker. They're more consistent and in fact they have more points. They have so many players that increase the value of the team, particularly in attack.

"They're a team who play an intense style throughout the match and they're used to these kind of games. Yes, you could call them favourites."

Tottenham lost just one of their six group stage matches, winning Group J comfortably, whilst Fiorentina recovered from losing two of their opening three pool matches to finish as Group I runners-up behind Basel.

The first leg of the last-32 tie takes place at Florence's Stadio Artemio Franchi on Thursday.

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