It is a far cry from Harry Redknapp’s laid back attitude towards the competition, which Tottenham exited at the group stage last season.
Villas Boas, who won the tournament with Porto in 2011, said he would “embrace the Europa League as if it were the Champions League.”
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The reputation of the Premier League means it is the most popular and one of the most watched leagues in the world.
Five English clubs will compete in the last sixteen of the Champions League for the first time ever as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham face some difficult away matches.