Fiorentina head coach Paulo Sousa wary of in-form Spurs

Image: SpursWeb

Fiorentina head coach Paulo Sousa is expecting a different challenge from Tottenham when the pair meet in the Europa League for the second time in a year.

Spurs travel to Florence to face Fiorentina for the first leg of their round of 32 tie having been knocked out by the Serie A side at the same stage last season.

Then, Mauricio Pochettino’s outfit were just three days away from a Capital One Cup final against Chelsea and made a number of changes to their side with more than one eye on their Wembley date.

They lost 2-0 in Florence, and 3-1 on aggregate, and were eliminated but this time around they travel to Tuscany having won seven consecutive games in all competitions and occupy second spot in the Barclays Premier League.

“It’s a different Tottenham from last year,” Sousa said.

“Players have come into their squad who are giving more and they’ve managed to rotate throughout the season while maintaining very high levels, and that’s important.

“They have a lot of quality, so even an injury doesn’t make them weaker. They’re more consistent and in fact they have more points.”

Sousa, who was not at the Stadio Artemio Franchi when La Viola knocked Spurs out 12 months ago, believes this meeting has all the hallmarks of a Champions League clash as third in Serie A go head to head with a side in the running for the Premier League crown.

“We hope they aren’t superior, but with our style we can have more possession,” he added.

“They have so many players that increase the value of the team, particularly in attack. Mainly on a physical level, but also in terms of running and change of pace.

“They’re a team who play an intense style throughout the match and they’re used to these kind of games. Yes, you could call them favourites.

“But we maintain a 50 per cent chance, because of our attitude of playing to win. This is a game which is almost like the Champions League, high level, competitive, technical, tactical and physical.

“It will allow us to improve our play against teams which rotate in every game, unlike those in the Italian league.

“They defend as a team, also maintaining high intensity because that’s a characteristic of British teams.”

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