Football: British trio primed for Europa adventure

Football: British trio primed for Europa adventure

PARIS - A revamped Tottenham Hotspur will headline the Premier League's quest for Europa League success when the group stage begins on Thursday.

Spurs, winners of the competition in 1972 and 1984, will also be joined by Welsh outfit Swansea City and English second-tier side and European debutants Wigan Athletic.

Tottenham again finished agonisingly out of the Champions League places last season, consigning them to the Europa League for the third year running.

Andre Villas-Boas's men were knocked out at the quarter-final stage on penalties by Switzerland's Basel a year ago, but a favourable draw - Tromso, Sheriff Tiraspol and Anzhi Makachkala accompany Spurs in Group K - has the north Londoners targeting another deep run.

Despite the departure of talisman Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid for more than 90 million euros (S$151 million) earlier this month, Spurs have reinforced their squad with seven new signings.

"Obviously the Europa League is a massive competition and we've got a big squad this season, so we're looking to really challenge on all fronts," said midfielder Andros Townsend, who faces increased competition following the arrivals of Christian Eriksen, Paulinho and Erik Lamela.

"We're looking to go into Thursday's game with confidence from the win (over Norwich) on Saturday and hope we get a good result.

"We've got the squad to challenge on all fronts, but first and foremost we've got to focus on getting out of our group," added Townsend ahead of the visit of Norway's Tromso.

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