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Aug 10, 2021 at 7pm UK
Sparta PragueSparta Prague
Martins (50'), Golovin (56'), Diop (81')
Tchouameni (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Moberg-Karlsson (78')
Wiesner (5'), Pulkrab (88')

Preview: Monaco vs. Sparta Prague - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Monaco vs. Sparta Prague - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Monaco and Sparta Prague, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Monaco will be looking to book their spot in the playoff round of the 2021-22 Champions League when they welcome Sparta Prague for the second leg of their third qualifying round contest on Tuesday.

The Ligue 1 outfit are in a strong position to progress to the next stage, having recorded a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the tie last week courtesy of goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Kevin Volland.

Match preview

Monaco have not competed in the Champions League since the 2018-19 campaign, when they finished fourth in Group A, which included Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

The Ligue 1 outfit famously reached the semi-finals of the 2016-17 European Cup, though, and Niko Kovac's side are in a commanding position in this tie courtesy of a two-goal success in the first leg in Prague.

Tchouameni made the breakthrough in the 37th minute of the contest before Volland struck before the hour, meaning that Sparta have a serious job on their hands to turn the tie around at Stade Louis II.

Monaco opened their 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign on Friday evening, meanwhile, sharing the points in a 1-1 draw with Nantes; Gelson Martins sent Kovac's team ahead in the 14th minute of the contest, but Jean-Charles Castelletto levelled the scores just before the interval.

Les Monegasques finished third in France's top flight last term and will be looking to enjoy another strong domestic campaign, and they will also hope that Champions League football can be secured.

Sparta, meanwhile, have also been in league action since the first leg, recording a 2-0 victory over Karvina on Saturday, which has left them top of the Czech Liga table with nine points from three matches.

The Reds finished second behind Slavia Prague in Czech's top flight last term, which ensured that they would qualify for the second qualifying round of this season's Champions League, and they managed to record a 3-2 aggregate win over Rapid Vienna despite losing the first leg on the road.

Pavel Vrba's side played in the group stages of last season's Europa League, finishing third in Group H behind AC Milan and Lille, but they have not operated in the group stages of the Champions League since the 2005-06 campaign.

Sparta's domestic form this term has been impressive, but they will need to put in one of their finest European performances in recent memory to overturn a two-goal deficit against a strong Monaco side in order to continue their journey in this season's competition.

Monaco Champions League form:
  • W

Monaco form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D

Sparta Prague Champions League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L

Sparta Prague form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Monaco boss Kovac made changes to his starting XI for Friday's Ligue 1 clash with Nantes, with Wissam Ben Yedder, Aleksandr Golovin and Youssouf Fofana dropping out of the side.

All three players are expected to be back in the team for Tuesday's contest, while the likes of Volland, Gelson Martins and Beniot Badiashile will retain their positions from the start.

Kovac might be tempted to switch his formation to a defensive one in order to protect the two-goal advantage, but one more goal for the Ligue 1 side could end Sparta's hopes of a comeback, meaning that it could again be an attacking 4-4-2 formation for the home side here.

As for Sparta, Vrba again selected a strong XI for his team's league clash with Karvina on Saturday, and the head coach will not have the luxury of making many changes for this match due to its importance.

The quick turnaround, especially considering Monaco played on Friday, is far from ideal, and the likes of David Moberg-Karlsson, Jakub Pesek and Adam Hlozek will all be in the starting side.

The visitors are likely to line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Borek Dockal operating as an advanced midfielder, while Tomas Wiesner should be given the nod at right-back.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Aguilar, Disasi, Badiashile, Henrique; Martins, Fofana, Tchouameni, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Volland

Sparta Prague possible starting lineup:
Nita; Wiesner, Panak, Hancko, Polidar; Sacek, Pavelka, Dockal; Moberg-Karlsson, Hlozek, Pesek

We say: Monaco 2-1 Sparta Prague (Monaco 4-1 on aggregate)

Sparta have a huge task on their hands when it comes to this contest, and we are finding it incredibly difficult to back them to pick up the result that they need. Monaco were impressive in the first leg, and we fancy the Ligue 1 side to also win the second leg to comfortably progress into the playoff round.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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