Reigning Swiss Super League champions Basle have beaten the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Sporting Lisbon over the past two seasons - reaching the knockout phases of last year's Champions League in the process.
That recent record means Villas-Boas is taking nothing for granted as he looks to lead Spurs to their first piece of silverware since the League Cup triumph of 2008 and he said: "Obviously they have recent European experience that we don't have."
He added: "They have got tremendous results in the past year with Man United and teams like Bayern - teams they have surprised. They are extremely successful and one of the best teams in the country.
"I'm sure that the key to the game will be both team's motivations and the quality of the individuals - we have to admit that we have superior players but, on the other hand, the experience Basle have and the fact they have played in the Champions League and are regular trophy winners, makes them also one of the favourites."
Tottenham sit third in the Premier League, with Champions League qualification part of Villas-Boas' remit when he replaced Harry Redknapp at the helm last summer.
The Portuguese admits securing a top-four finish is important but pointed towards former club Chelsea as an example of a team who have won silverware after missing out on the Champions League places.
"We want to focus on trying to win the Europa League but we understand that the fans' and the club's expectations are for us to try and reach Champions League qualification this year," he said. "What sets the success of a football team is their league position at the end of every season but we want to do extremely well in the competition.
"It would be very, very important for us to get a trophy this season and I think we have taken great steps towards the future by the way we have embraced this competition.
"We were rewarded with two great opponents [Inter Milan and Lyon] who are full of Champions League experience and Basle is another one. I think it always dictates the success of a season, your league position, but winning a trophy is always important."
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