Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that lifting the Europa League is one of his side’s main priorities this season due to the winners being granted a Champions League place.
The Argentine boss has previously dismissed the competition which his team are currently 16.00 to win, describing it as an unnecessary distraction while in charge of former club Southampton, but the introduction of the new incentive has obviously changed his view.
Over the last few years Spurs have always seemed to fail to live up to expectations in the Europa League, falling in the last 16 of last season’s competition to eventual finalists Benfica.
The Lilywhites begin their campaign on Thursday evening against Serbian outfit Partizan Belgrade and will be looking for a bright start in a game they are installed as 1.66 favourites to win, with the draw at 3.64 and their opponents priced at 4.12.
With Besiktas and Asteras Tripoli also in Group C, Tottenham will expect to progress and Pochettino has now revealed the chance to earn a spot in next year’s Champions League has given him extra motivation to succeed in Europe.
“This year it is very important because the Europa League gives you the possibility to play in the next Champions League,” he said. “It is an important competition for us.
“For me all my players are stars. But when we come to a different period, or a different problem or situation we have to analyse the squad and see what is the best condition for us to get three points. but for me Tottenham have a strong squad with different names.”