Sparta Prague vs Chelsea Live Stream and Highlights
Sparta Prague vs Chelsea Preview:
Date: February 14, 2013; Time: 6:00 PM UTC;
Venue: Generali Arena — Praha.
Chelsea will be in search for other European trophy. Rafael Benitez’s team opens their Europa League campaign against The Reds from Prague, who have lost just once in their group this season.
Sparta are third in the Czech Liga with 31 points from 16 matches. They are just one point behind the second-placed Jablonec and three points behind the leaders Viktoria Plzen. The Reds have not played official games since the end of November, and have played just two friendlies to prepare for this clash. It could leave them out of great match fitness and game form. Their present form has seen three draws, one loss and one win from their last five games. To progress to the final stages Sparta finished second in their group behind leaders Lyon. In this Europa League campaign at home Sparta have won Feyenoord, Athletic, Ironi and have drawn with Admira and Lyon.
Chelsea goes third in the EPL with 49 points from 26 matches. They have lost the champions race this season with Manchester United are 16 points clear of them. But, they must focus on keeping their direct third Champions League place cause Spurs are just one point behind and Arsenal are five points back of them. Their current form has seen three draws, one loss and one win from last five games. Last five away matches the Blues have ended with the same stats. Chelsea finished third in their Champions League group Juventus and Shakhtar. They have lost out on head to head with Donetsk club. Also, Chelsea have not played in this tournament since the 2002-03 season. The Blues have good chances to win each European club competition in their history. Rafa Benitez has won this competition in the 2003-04 season with Valencia.
The home team should choose a strong squad for this game, with Vaclav Kadlec an important young player in attack with support of Albanian Bekim Balaj.
Chelsea can’t count on Demba Ba cause he already played in this competition for Newcastle this season, so Fernando Torres will lead the line. Head coach Rafa Benitez could use this competition for some experiments with his squad, giving play-time to his fringe players. John Terry remains sidelined with a knee injury. Oriel Romeu is a long-term absentee due to knee injury.
Sparta Prague line-up: Vaclik, Svejdik, Zapotocny, Vidlicka, Pamic, Holek, Husbauer, Matejovsky, Jarosik, Balaj, Kadlec.
Last three matches:
Athletic Bilbao 0 – Sparta Praha 0;
Sparta Praha 1 – Olympique Lyonnais 1;
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 1 – Sparta Praha 1.
Chelsea line-up: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Marin, Oscar, Torres, Moses.
Last three matches:
Chelsea FC 4 – Wigan Athletic 1;
Newcastle 3 – Chelsea FC 2;
Reading 2 – Chelsea FC 2.