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Yakin ready to lead Basel free of expectations

Murat Yakin said Swiss champions FC Basel 1893 have nothing to lose after Friday's draw paired them with a Tottenham Hotspur FC side eager to add to past European glories.

Basel boss Murat Yakin
Basel boss Murat Yakin ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Basel 1893 coach Murat Yakin admitted the Swiss champions have nothing to lose after being drawn in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals against Tottenham Hotspur FC. The English outfit won the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984 and the noise from their camp is that it could be time for some new celebratory photos at White Hart Lane.

Murat Yakin, Basel coach
We are extremely excited about this draw. Tottenham Hotspur are a great team from a wonderful city. We have nothing to lose against them. We have earned the opportunity to play against teams like these. It's already a huge accomplishment to be in the last eight of the Europa League.

Darren Eales, Tottenham director of football administration
Basel are a team we haven't played before. We know they're doing well in the Swiss league so it'll be a tough match, but I think we're glad we've avoided the English teams. It's nice for our fans to go to a club they haven't been to before.

We've got a great European pedigree in the old UEFA Cup so I think this is a trophy that the fans would love to win. We've still got a chance of two White Hart Lane midweek fixtures under floodlights, which bring a great atmosphere, and hopefully we can get to Amsterdam.

If you walk around White Hart Lane we've got the old photos there, so as we creep nearer and nearer, I am sure that André [Villas-Boas] will take time to remind [the players] about the history of the club and the importance of this trophy.

Previous meetings
The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition. Interestingly, they share a former coach: Christian Gross had an ill-fated spell at White Hart Lane (1997–98) yet then won four league titles and four Swiss Cups at Basel (1999–2009).

Basel's record in 16 games against English clubs is W3 D5 L8 (W3 D2 L3 at home – W0 D3 L5 in England). Tottenham's five matches versus Swiss opposition ended W3 D0 L2 (W2 D0 L1 at home – W1 D0 L1 in Switzerland).

Quarter-final pedigree
Spurs are the only team left who have lifted the UEFA Europa League trophy, winning the inaugural UEFA Cup in 1971/72 as well as the 1983/84 edition. The last time Basel got to the quarter-finals, in 2005/06, they were eliminated by another English outfit Middlesbrough FC.

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