HomeEuropa LeagueLiverpool v Sparta Prague: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Liverpool v Sparta Prague: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

With Jurgen Klopp bowing out at the end of this season, Liverpool are attempting to pull off one great final show as they target a quadruple. The Reds have already won the EFL Cup and they are into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but stayed off top spot at the weekend in the Premier League after being held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester City at Anfield. They also have pretty much both feet in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, too.

The reason for that is because they hammered Sparta Prague by five goals to one in the Czech capital last week to all but wrap up the tie. Sparta have since been hammered 4-0 by Viktoria Plzen in the Czech First League and that loss means, despite being top-of-the-table domestically, that they have managed to concede two or more goals in half of their last eight matches across all competitions.

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Team News

With that 5-1 lead, Liverpool are expected to heavily rotate what is already an injury ravaged squad ahead of playing Manchester United at the weekend. Mohamed Salah may make his first start since returning from injury, though.

As for Sparta Prague, they do have a few injury concerns but only one definite absentee for their trip to Anfield. Jakub Pesek is expected to be unavailable for the Czechs, whilst Asger Sorensen and David Pavelka are both doubtful.

Expected Line-ups

Liverpool: Kelleher; Bradley, Gomez, Quansah, Robertson; Clark, McConnell, Szoboszlai; Salah, Gakpo, Koumas

Sparta Prague: Vindahl-Jensen; Vitk, Mejdr, Krejci; Preciado, Solbakken, Kairinen, Zeleny; Birmancevic, Kuchta, Haraslin

What they Said

In the aftermath of their aforementioned draw with Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp said that his Liverpool side can ‘go the distance’ in the title race but was left baffled by some decisions, describing Jeremy Doku on Alexis Mac Allister as ‘100% a foul’ in the dying moments of that match.

Brian Priske was left upbeat after their defeat last week but did say his team was forced into playing a way they don’t naturally want to. “I am proud of them. We could only defend, but that’s not our style. We wanted to show our style. But we made two big individual mistakes that Liverpool were able to punish.”

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at Anfield at 20:00 on Thursday March 14th and will be shown live on TNT Sports in the UK. It will also be able to be streamed live via the TNT Sports app.

Prediction

Even with a heavily rotated side preparing for a crucial FA Cup quarter-final at the weekend, Liverpool will still likely name stars such as Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohamed Salah in their starting line-up. As Brian Priske has said, Sparta will continue to try and play on the front foot so that will likely leave them wide open, albeit they may well be capable of scoring at Anfield. A high-scoring home win seems very likely for this second-leg on Thursday evening.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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