|Venue: Letna Stadium, Prague Date: Thursday, 30 September Kick-off: 17:45 BST|
|Protection: Hearken to BBC Radio Scotland and comply with stay updates on BBC Sport web site & app.|
Rangers supervisor Steven Gerrard has “no apprehension” over Glen Kamara in Thursday’s Europa League sport in opposition to Sparta Prague after final season’s fractious tie with metropolis rivals Slavia.
The match can be performed in entrance of 10,000 youngsters after Uefa relented on a stadium closure following racist chanting by Sparta followers in direction of Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni.
Midfielder Kamara was racially abused in a Europa League last-16 tie by Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela, with the Czech given a 10-game ban.
Kamara acquired a three-game suspension for assaulting Kudela post-match, whereas Rangers striker Kemar Roofe was banned for 4 matches after his problem fractured the cranium of goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar.
“I’ve spoken to the bulk my gamers concerning the sport,” mentioned Gerrard.
“Glen and Kemar, who have been affected from the final sport, are in place, each wanting ahead and wanting to return and put efficiency in for the crew.
“There is not any apprehension so far as I am involved. I’ve had assurances the whole lot goes to be advantageous.”
Either side are searching for their first win in Group A after Rangers opened with a 2-0 house defeat by Lyon whereas Sparta drew 0-0 with Brondby in Copenhagen.
“We’re effectively conscious we’ve not received off to the perfect of begins,” mentioned Gerrard. “The plan is to go and try to win the sport.
“But when we won’t discover that efficiency or consequence it is essential we take one thing as a result of, if not, the group turns into extra difficult.”
Sparta’s star striker, Lukas Julis, who scored 5 objectives in opposition to Celtic within the Europa League group phases final season, is dominated out with a groin damage.
The hosts may also be with out winger Ladislav Krejci, left-back Casper Hojer and midfielder Borek Dockal.
Teenage ahead Adam Hlozek is ready to be handed a begin because the central striker, with help on the flanks supplied by wingers David Moberg Karlsson and Jakub Pesek.
Rangers haven’t any recent damage worries. Midfielder Scott Arfield returns to the squad after lacking the weekend Premiership win over Dundee, whereas defender Stephen Kelly and goalkeeper Robby McCrorie are additionally added to the travelling social gathering.
Filip Helander, Ryan Kent, Nnamdi Ofoborh and Ryan Jack stay out.
What can we learn about Sparta Prague?
The Czech aspect thrashed Celtic 4-1 house and away in final season’s Europa League teams, however nonetheless missed out on the knockout stage.
Having completed runners-up to Slavia within the Czech high flight, they’re at the moment third and have been hammered 5-1 on mixture by Monaco in Champions League qualifying.
What they mentioned
Sparta Prague defender Ondrej Celustka: “We managed the matches with Celtic, however the 12 months is a very long time and each match is completely different. Rangers are first within the desk, they concede few objectives.
“We definitely don’t count on something easy and we don’t intend to imagine that we’re doing effectively in opposition to the Scots. Rangers are a profitable Scottish crew, we count on it to be a really disagreeable and aggressive opponent – we now have to cope with their fashion.”
Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo: “We solely have one job to do and that is to carry out, we aren’t centered on who will or won’t be within the stadium.
“The supervisor ensures we block out any distractions and purely concentrate on the match. We have to present composure in these video games in opposition to sturdy groups who can harm us.”
- The edges beforehand met within the first spherical of the European Cup in 1991-92. Sparta progressed on away objectives, successful 1-0 at house earlier than shedding 1-2 in Scotland.
- That defeat in October 1991 was the final time Sparta misplaced to a Scottish aspect. They’re since unbeaten in six matches (W5 D1), together with two wins in opposition to Celtic within the group phases of this competitors final season.
- Rangers have solely misplaced certainly one of their previous 9 away matches within the Europa League (W4 D4), and have been unbeaten on the street within the competitors all through 2020-21 (W3 D2).
- Sparta have been unbeaten within the group phases of the Europa League at house between 2010-11 and 2016-17 (W10 D5), however have been overwhelmed twice in three such matches final season (W1).
- They drew 0-0 in opposition to Brondby IF on MD1 – their sport noticed the fewest pictures (16) and had the bottom complete xG (0.8) of any sport within the opening spherical of fixtures.