Southampton vs Sparta Prague
UEFA Europa League – Group Stage
Date: Thursday, 15th September, 2016,
Kick-Off: 20:05 UK,
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton.
Southampton make their Europa Group stage debut when they host Czech giants Sparta Prague at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Thursday evening.
The Saints had struggled at the start of the new season as they are yet to taste a win after four competitive matches. A change of head-coach and loss of key players like Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle have adversely affected their performance so far. But there will be no shortage of excitement at the St. Mary’s on Thursday night as Southampton are set to play their first ever match in the Europa League. They reached as far as the final round of qualifying play-off last season, before bowing out to Danish Superliga outfit FC Midtjylland.
Sparta Prague had decent runs in the Europa League in recent years. They have made it to the knockout stages in three of the last four seasons. The Czech side reached the quarter finals in the last season and were eliminated after losing to Spanish La Liga club Villarreal on both legs. This haven’t had the easiest of ties in the play-off this term. The Danish club SonderjyskE Fodbold held them to a goal-less draw in Denmark and were at the verge of elimination after the visitors took an early 2 goal lead in Prague. However, they fought back to overturn the deficit and earn a 3-2 win to guarantee their ticket at the group phase of the competition
Southampton vs Sparta Prague: Head-to-Head Stats
This is the first competitive meeting with Southampton and Sparta Prague.
Sparta Prague have a poor record against Premier League clubs in UEFA competitions. They haven’t won in any of the last 14 matches against English clubs.
Southampton vs Sparta Prague: Prediction
Southampton are coming on to this match on the worst possible shape. They are a team in transition, but must be still regarded as a strong group at home. They haven’t lost a home games since February 2016.
Sparta might be without a win in 14 games against Premier League sides, but they are a side capable of negotiating the group stage matches effectively. They were unbeaten in their group last season with 3 wins and 3 draws and I believe they will take a point at least from this fixture.
Southampton vs Sparta Prague: Bet Tips
Double Chance – Draw/Sparta at 2.63 (13/8)
Both Teams to Score at 2.00 (1/1).