Celtic vs Sparta Prague preview, team news, kick-off

Celtic winger James Forrest out of for ‘quite a considerable time’ and will miss the Hoops’ Europa League clash with Sparta Prague on Thursday; follow with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms

Wednesday 4 November 2020 15:55, UK

Team news and stats ahead of Celtic vs Sparta Prague in the Europa League group stage on Thursday; kick-off 8pm.

Team news

Celtic have been rocked by the loss of midfielder James Forrest, with Neil Lennon confirming he has undergone surgery on an ankle injury that will rule him out for a “quite a considerable time”.

Winger Michael Johnston has returned to training, but the Sparta Prague game will come too soon for him to feature.

Christopher Jullien is closing on a return to training and Celtic hope to have him back after the international break.

For Sparta Prague, Ladislav Krejci returns from suspension, while Lukas Stetina, David Hancko and Adam Hlozek are all out injured.

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Sparta Prague at a glance

The coach: Vaclav Kotal, 68, a former player for Sparta, was appointed manager in February, having been in charge of the club’s B team.

European pedigree: Their best European showing came in the 1972/73 Cup Winners’ Cup when they reached the semi-finals. They have been regulars in Europe since 1980 without reaching such heights, making the quarter-finals of various competitions on a handful of occasions.

Form: Have won all seven league and cup matches domestically this season and are top of the Czech table. Sparta arrive in Glasgow, though, on the back of successive defeats in the Europa League.

How to follow

Follow Celtic vs Sparta Prague with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms from 6.30pm on Thursday; kick off 8pm.

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Opta stats

  • This will be Celtic’s very first meeting with Sparta Prague in European competition.
  • Celtic were last drawn against Czech opposition in the Last 32 of the UEFA Cup in 2003-04 when they eliminated FK Teplice 3-1 on aggregate.
  • Sparta Prague have won each of their last two away matches against Scottish sides, beating Airdrieonians in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992-93 and Hearts in the UEFA Cup in 2006-07.
  • Celtic have lost each of their last two home games in the UEFA Europa League, and could lose three UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup home games on the bounce for the very first time.
  • Mohamed Elyounoussi has netted three goals in two games in the UEFA Europa League this term and could equal Kris Commons’ four goals in 2015-16 as the most by a Celtic player in a single season in the competition.

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