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Basel tough - Ramon

Ramon Vega tells our official matchday programme that we can expect a tough tie in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final against FC Basel.

Basel qualified for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League last season at the expense of Manchester United after a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford and then a 2-1 win at St Jakob-Park.

That form has continued this term as they top the table in defence of the Swiss title and progressed to the last eight of the Europa League after an impressive win against Zenit, having initially kicked-off their 2012-13 European campaign in the Champions League qualifiers in July.

“English teams have found it quite tough against Swiss teams historically,” says our former defender Ramon, a League Cup winner in 1999 who also played for Grasshoppers-Club Zurich, Cagliari, Celtic, Watford, Creteil and the Swiss national team during his 13-year career.

“Liverpool were given a real test by Young Boys earlier this season (Liverpool eventually winning 5-3 at the Stade de Suisse, before drawing 2-2 at Anfield in the Europa League) and of course after 30 minutes or so of the Young Boys against Tottenham Hotspur Champions League play-off a couple of years ago, Spurs were 3-0 down in Berne.

“FC Basel will certainly be a test - they have been performing very well in the Swiss League this season. I expect Spurs to come through and make it to the semi finals though, especially if Gareth Bale puts in the type of performances he has been this season.

"Indeed, I think Spurs have every chance of winning the Europa League this season if they can overcome Basel. I certainly hope they can achieve it, because I know how much that would mean to everyone at the club."

Read the full interview in tomorrow's programme...