Monday, January 25
Collect News Data
Nov 26, 2020 at 5.55pm UK
Sparta PragueSparta Prague
Hancko (27'), Julis (38', 80'), Plavsic (90+4')
Vindheim (29'), Krejci (57'), Soucek (90')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Edouard (15')

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

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

Celtic head into their away encounter with Sparta Prague on Thursday night still searching for their first win in the Europa League.

Meanwhile, the Czech outfit are looking to win consecutive Europa League matches for the first time since 2016.

Match preview

Celtic's disastrous 4-1 defeat at home to Sparta Prague at the beginning of this month saw the Hoops move to the bottom of Group H, having picked up just one point from a possible nine available.

That loss was their worst home defeat in a European competition since the 5-0 thrashing in the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain back in September 2017.

Neil Lennon's side have since beaten Motherwell 4-1 before drawing 2-2 with Hibernian last weekend, meaning that the Hoops have won only two of their last six matches in all competitions.

This next month could prove to be an important stage of Celtic's campaign if they are to turn their fortunes around both domestically and in the Europa League and could also decide Lennon's future, despite the current boss claiming not to have any worries about his job security.

Victory on Thursday would see Celtic move off the bottom of Group H and into third place, two points behind AC Milan if they were to lose to Lille.

Sparta Prague's 4-1 victory over Celtic seems to have glossed over their recent form as the Czech outfit have lost four of their last six matches, including their previous two domestically.

Vaclav Kotal's side have also been shipping plenty of goals in recent weeks, conceding 15 goals in their last five matches in all competitions, eight of which have been in the Europa League.

The Czech side are still likely to pose a threat to Celtic this week and the Hoops will have to keep an eye out for striker Lukas Julis, who scored a hat-trick in Sparta Prague's 4-1 win at Celtic Park. Julis has found the net nine times in twelve appearances this campaign.

The 25-year-old's hat-trick against Celtic doubled his Europa League goal tally, having scored only three times in his previous 19 appearances in the competition.

A victory for Sparta Prague would see them move level on points with AC Milan in Group H if they fail to claim any points against Lille.

Sparta Prague Europa League form: LLW
Sparta Prague form (all competitions): WLLWLL

Celtic Europa League form: LDL
Celtic form (all competitions): DDWLWD

Team News

Sparta Prague defenders David Hancko (knee), Ondrej Celustka (muscular problem) and Lukas Stetina (knee) are all sidelined.

Midfielder Michal Sacek (muscle problem) and forward Adam Hlozek (metatarsal fracture) are also out injured.

Lukas Julis, who has not scored since his hat-trick against Celtic, is set to lead the line once again.

Celtic defender Shane Duffy, who played in the 4-1 home defeat to Sparta Prague, will be hoping to win his place back in the starting XI after being dropped from their last two matches against Motherwell and Hibernian.

Olivier Ntcham is hoping to work his way back into the midfield at the expense of Tom Rogic, who has started the previous four matches in all competitions.

Striker Odsonne Edouard is also hoping to get back into the starting lineup after coming off the bench in Celtic's previous two games.

Sparta Prague possible starting lineup:
Heca; Vindheim, Lischka, Plechaty, Hanousek; Pavelka, Krejci; Plavsic, Dockal, Moberg Karlsson; Julis

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Bain; Frimpong, Bitton, Ajer, Laxalt; Brown, McGregor; Christie, Rogic, Elyounoussi; Edouard

We say: Sparta Prague 2-2 Celtic

Celtic, who have failed to keep a clean sheet in seven of their last eight matches in all competitions, come up against a Sparta Prague side who have only kept one clean sheet in their 2020-21 campaign. Both sides will see this as an important fixture that could decided their Europa League fate but may find it difficult to take all three points.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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