2021-22 UEFA Europa League Group Stage: Week Five – Rangers vs Sparta Prague

Rangers welcome Sparta Prague to Ibrox in a crunch Group A showdown in 2021-22 UEFA Europa League.

With both teams locked on four points apiece as Rangers sit second ahead of Sparta, victory for either team would put their fate into their own hands heading into the final round of group matches next month.


Team News

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Kemar Roofe is a doubt for Rangers after sitting out their 3-1 Scottish League Cup defeat with an unspecified injury.

Filip Helander (knee) and Nnamdi Ofoborh (illness) remain ruled out indefinitely.

Sparta Prague could welcome Filip Soucek (knee), Lukas Julis (groin) and Casper Hojer Nielsen (calf) back.

Ondrej Celustka (Achilles) is unlikely to be available for selection.


Stat Attack

  • Rangers have won just one of three previous meetings against Sparta Prague across all UEFA competitions (W1, L2).
  • Sparta Prague are winless in their only previous visit to Ibrox (L1), having lost 2-1 in Extra Time in First Round of 1991-92 European Cup.
  • Rangers have kept two clean sheets in three home games since dropping into the Europa League this season (W2, L1), having won both matches in which they kept a clean sheet.
  • Sparta have failed to score in their two away matches in Group A of Europa League this season (D1, L1).
  • Rangers lost their only previous match refereed by Danny Makkelie, losing 1-0 to Bayer Leverkusen in August 2020.



With Steven Gerrard having departed Rangers since their last Europa League game, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is now in charge but the Gers were simply wasteful in Sunday’s Scottish League Cup exit to Hibernian so there is work to do to make progress here.

Van Bronckhorst though wasn’t on the touchline last weekend but his priority surely has to be ensuring that his team are able to maintain focus and not implode if they concede first, as well as sorting out their finishing issues but retaining a 4-3-3 formation is a positive move.

Sparta meanwhile have struggled on their travels in this group but I expect them to be a strong yet difficult team to beat, although the first goal will be crucial and I can see Rangers winning if they net first especially with a noisy crowd expected for Van Bronckhorst’s return to Ibrox.

Prediction: Rangers 2-1 Sparta Prague

Result: Rangers 2-0 Sparta Prague

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