Sparta Prague vs Liverpool: Preview and Prediction

Liverpool will take on Sparta Prague in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, looking to take a step closer to the quarter-finals.

The last time these two sides met, Liverpool picked up a 1-0 win over Sparta Prague at home, and they will be hoping for a similar result here. Although the visitors are plagued with injuries right now, they are in impressive form and have won their last six matches across all competitions.

Meanwhile, Sparta Prague will believe that this is a great opportunity for them to grind out a positive result at home before heading to Anfield next week. The hosts will feel that Liverpool have a weakened squad because of persistent injury problems, and they will want to take advantage of their vulnerabilities and grind out a win here.

Sparta Prague have failed to win their last two matches against Liverpool, and they will look to make amends here. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Sparta Prague

The home team do not have any major injury problems heading into this game, and they should be able to field a full-strength lineup. But Jakub Pesek and David Pavelka might miss out. Meanwhile, Peter Vindahl will start in goal for Sparta Prague against Liverpool.

In the back three, Martin Vitik will start alongside Ladislav Krejci and Asger Sorensen. Angelo Preciado and Matej Rynes will start as the wing-backs. They will look to keep things compact at the back and help out in attack.

In the middle of the park, Qazim Laci will start alongside Kaan Kairinen. The two players will look to add creativity and defensive cover to the side. Jan Kuchta will lead the line for Sparta Prague here, with Veljko Birmancevic and Lukas Haraslin on either side of him.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Vindahl; Vitik, Krejci, Sorensen; Preciado, Kairinen, Laci, Rynes; Birmancevic, Kuchta, Haraslin


The Reds have a number of injury problems. Alisson Becker continues to recover from his hamstring problem, while Joel Matip is ruled out for the remainder of the season along with Thiago Alcantara.

Diogo Jota is still recovering from his knee problem, while Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to be sidelined with a ligament problem. Ryan Gravenberch is expected to return to action in the coming weeks. But Curtis Jones remains a long-term absentee.

The visitors will shape up in a 4-3-3 formation against Sparta Prague, with Caoimhin Kelleher in goal. Joe Gomez is likely to be deployed as the right-back here, with Kostas Tsimikas on the left. The two players will look to contribute at both ends of the pitch. At the heart of the defence, Jarell Quansah will start alongside Virgil van Dijk.

In the midfield, Wataru Endo is likely to start as the defensive midfielder, and he will look to break up opposition attacks and protect the backline. Dominik Szoboszlai and James McConnell will start alongside him, and the two players will look to add creativity and control. Cody Gakpo will lead the line for Liverpool here, with Harvey Elliott and Lewis Koumas on either side of him.

Probable lineup (4-3-3): Kelleher; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; McConnell, Endo, Szoboszlai; Elliott, Gakpo, Koumas

Key Stats

  • Liverpool have won their last six matches across all competitions.
  • Sparta Prague are unbeaten in the last five matches across all competitions.
  • Liverpool have scored 16 goals in their last six matches in all competitions.
  • Sparta Prague have scored 14 goals in the last six matches across all competitions.
  • Sparta Prague have conceded at least once in five of their last six outings.

Player to Watch

Dominik Szoboszlai

Embed from Getty Images

The Hungarian is likely to be handed a start here, and he will look to build some match fitness ahead of the weekend clash against Manchester City. He is our key player to watch out for as he will look to add creativity and drive to the side. In the absence of several key players, Liverpool will look to him to dominate the midfield battle and create goalscoring opportunities for their attackers.


Sparta Prague 1-1 Liverpool

Both teams will be desperate for a win herem and this will be a close contest. Sparta Prague will not want to lose here, especially with the second leg at Anfield. A comprehensive win here could give them a big advantage in the tie.

On the other hand, Liverpool have a number of injury problems, and they will look to navigate this fixture without losing the game. They will feel confident heading into Anfield next week. This is likely to be an evenly-matched contest, and both teams are likely to get on the score-sheet. They could end up cancelling each other out and sharing the spoils. A draw seems quite likely.

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