Sparta Prague vs Celtic Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

George Cannon
Celtic were heavily beaten in the reverse fixture
Celtic were heavily beaten in the reverse fixture / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
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Sparta Prague host Celtic in the Europa League on Thursday evening with both sides searching for a win to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Neil Lennon's side were thrashed 4-1 at Celtic Park by Sparta in the reverse fixture, despite the visitors' squad being decimated by coronavirus. Lukas Julis bagged a hat-trick for Václav Kotal's men on what was a humiliating night for the Scottish champions, and one that left them bottom of Group H.

Celtic haven't been eliminated from European football before Christmas since 2016, but anything other than the three points at the Letna Stadium would almost certainly spell the end for the Hoops' ambitions on the continent this season.


Where to Watch on TV

When Is Kick Off? Thursday 26 November
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:55 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Letna Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport 3 (UK)
Referee? Tobias Stieler


Team News

Odsonne Edouard will be hoping to return to the Celtic starting line-up
Odsonne Edouard will be hoping to return to the Celtic starting line-up / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Sparta Prague are still without several key names for the midweek clash with defenders 
Ondrej Celustka, David Hancko and Lukas Stetina all on the treatment table with injuries. Midfielder Michal Sacek and forward Adam Hlozek are also sidelined for this crucial encounter.

Kotal will, however, be able to call upon Milan Heca, Filip Soucek, Matej Hanousek and Martin Minchev, who were all unavailable for the trip to Parkhead at the start of the month.

Lennon will be hoping influential defender Christopher Jullien has recovered from a back injury in time to make the starting line-up in the Czech capital, but will still be without James Forrest who is out until December with an ankle injury.

Odsonne Edouard is expected to return from the off after coming on as a substitute in Celtic's last two matches.


Predicted Lineups

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

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


Recent Form

Sparta have been in a rut recently, but still swept Celtic away in their last meeting
Sparta have been in a rut recently, but still swept Celtic away in their last meeting / RUSSELL CHEYNE/Getty Images

Sparta's win over Celtic at the start of the month is their only victory in their last five outings in all competitions. Their domestic league had to be put on pause from October 5th until November 8th due to a Covid-19 outbreak, and Kotal's side have yet to fully find their feet.

They followed up their impressive victory over the Glasgow giants with back-to-back defeats in the Czech First League, shipping seven goals in the process. Those results have left them four points behind the early table-toppers Slavia Prague after eight games.

The pressure is mounting on Lennon as Celtic's draw with Hibernian last time out meant his side have only won two out of their last eight matches in all competitions. They've picked up a solitary point in Group H so far, and although a win in Prague would see them leapfrog their opponents, it might not be enough to reel in Lille and AC Milan in their quest to make the round of 32.

Here's how the two sides have fared in their last five fixtures.

Sparta Prague

Sparta Prague 2-4 SK Dynamo (22/11)
Viktoria Plzen 3-1 Sparta Prague (8/11)
Celtic 1-4 Sparta Prague (5/11)
AC Milan 3-0 Sparta Prague (29/10)
Sparta Prague 1-4 Lille (22/10)

Celtic

Hibernian 2-2 Celtic (21/11)
Motherwell 1-4 Celtic (8/11)
Celtic 1-4 Sparta Prague (5/11)
Celtic 2-0 Aberdeen (1/11)
Lille 2-2 Celtic (29/10)


Prediction

Neil Lennon will be desperate for a good result
Neil Lennon will be desperate for a good result / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Both sides are in desperate need of a positive result if they're to stand any chance of qualification to the knockout stages, but with neither side in good form, it could be a close affair.

There are bound to be goals given both team's leaky defences, and they could end up cancelling each other out and sharing the points.

Prediction: Sparta Prague 2-2 Celtic

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