Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has made it clear that he is taking the Europa League seriously this season after challenging his players to win the competition.

While Liverpool have rested a majority of first team players for their opening group game against Young Boys, Villas-Boas has placed extra emphasis on a competition in which he has already had great success.

Andre Villas-Boas
AVB wants to replicate the success he had at Porto by helping Spurs win the Europa League [Reuters] Reuters

The Portuguese manager won the competition with Porto in 2011 as he continually picked the strongest side possible en-route to the final were his side secured a 1-0 victory over Braga.

Tottenham failed to make it out of the group stages last season as Harry Redknapp used the competition to field some of his more inexperienced players.

However, Villas-Boas has made it clear that his intention is to deliver a first European trophy to Tottenham since 1984 when they won the UEFA Cup.

"We want to do something special in this competition," Villas-Boas told the BBC. "This competition is very important.

"It's a tough competition. You have to play 15 games before you reach the final, so it's hard and strenuous and the best teams out of the Champions League are playing.

"It gives access to the European Super Cup and, for me, I always thought it was a prestigious competition and it should be promoted like that because after the Cup Winners' Cup disappeared, it is not only about the Champions League.

"If we can win a trophy, that represents a lot for Tottenham Hotspur's history as well and would be something really special."

Tottenham open their account in the competition when they play Italian side Lazio at home on Thursday in what could be a tricky opening game.

Lazio have won all three league games this season, including two wins away from home, while Tottenham are yet to win at White Hart Lane this season.