Spurs boss reflects on Europa League draw against Lyon

Andre Villas-Boas says Tottenham’s clash with Lyon has the quality of a Champions League tie – and he believes it will help to enhance the reputation of the Europa League in England.

Spurs were drawn against Lyon in today’s draw for the last 32 of the Europa League, pitting them against a side who are currently joint top of the French league.

“Lyon is a tremendous tie for us in the sense that - along with the Liverpool game – it gives this country the chance to see wonderful Europa League fixtures being played,” said Villas-Boas.

“Zenit-Liverpool and Tottenham-Lyon should both be considered like Champions League fixtures so I think this is something important for the competition, for how it’s seen in this country.

“The fact that we play Lyon, who are used to being in the Champions League and used to winning trophies, is an important reference for us.

“If we want to set our targets for Champions League qualification, this is the kind of team we will face - teams with a winning mentality, full of quality players. In that sense I think it’s excellent for the publicity of the competition in this country.”

Hugo Lloris is in line to face his former club, having swapped Lyon for White Hart Lane in the summer – and ex-Spurs midfielder Steed Malbranque is now plying his trade with the French side.

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The two sides will lock horns on February 14 and 21 – and the winners will face either Inter Milan or Romanian outfit Cluj in the last 16.

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