Sparta Prague welcome Rangers to Stadion Letna, Prague, in a crucial Group A clash in 2021-22 UEFA Europa League Group Stage.
Victory could see Sparta Prague go top if Lyon fail to beat Brondby elsewhere, whereas Rangers could climb into the top two with a win.
Sparta Prague will be without eight first-team players as Dominik Holec (knock), Matej Pulkrab (unspecified), Matej Polidar (shoulder), Adam Karabec, Ladislav Krejci (both muscle), Borek Dockal (knee), Lukas Julis (groin) and Casper Hojer Nielsen (calf) are ruled out
Rangers will be without Ryan Kent after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury in their opening Group A loss to Lyon a fortnight ago.
Ryan Jack (calf) and Filip Helander (knee) remain absent.
- Sparta Prague have won just one of two previous meetings against Rangers in all UEFA competitions (W1, L1).
- Rangers have lost their only previous away trip to Sparta Prague across all UEFA competitions, losing 1-0 in September 1991 in Round One of 1991-92 European Cup, but won on away goals after 2-2 aggregate draw.
- Sparta are unbeaten in four home matches against Scottish opposition in all UEFA competitions (W3, D1).
- Rangers are winless in five previous away matches against Czech opposition across all UEFA competitions (D2, L3).
- Sparta have won two of their last five home matches in UEFA competitions (W2, L3).
Sparta come into this game in excellent form with nine goals in their last three matches so will certainly be a difficult team to play against attack wise, particularly if they can get on the front foot and score first otherwise they can take heart from their unbeaten home record against Scottish clubs.
Having been comfortably beaten by Lyon in their opening match of this group, this match is realistically a must-win if Rangers are to realistically challenge for qualification to the knockout stages yet they haven’t exactly fired on cylinders lately up front and Czech Republic is one of their bogey countries.
I though do expect the first goal to be crucial because if Sparta get it, I fancy them to claim a routine win whereas a draw will likely be the best bet if Rangers score first because I don’t see them holding out here.
Prediction: Sparta Prague 1-1 Rangers
Result: Sparta Prague 1-0 Rangers