TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas believes tonight’s Europa League clash with Lyon will be a perfect test of his team’s Champions League credentials.
Lyon’s appearance in this year’s Europa League ends 13 consecutive seasons of playing Champions League football.
And Villas-Boas, whose Spurs side currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League, feels the French giants are the calibre of opposition his team could have to try to cope with next season.
“This could be a test of whether we’re good enough to play in the Champions League,” he said. “I think we’ve been handed the most difficult draw of this knock-out phase. This is like a Champions League tie. It will be a good test for Tottenham.”
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who moved from Lyon to Spurs for £8m in the summer, will have to make do with a place on the bench against his former employers in the last 32, first leg match, with Brad Friedel set for a rare start.
Striker Jermain Defoe is out with an ankle injury and midfielder Tom Huddlestone is missing with knee trouble. Long-term absentees Younes Kaboul and Sandro remain sidelined.