Rangers will be eager to make amends for their opening group stage defeat to Lyon in the Europa League when they fly out to face an under-strength Sparta Prague side on Thursday night, six months on from the controversial clash with their biggest rivalsSlavia that saw a racism row erupt after abuse was aimed at Glen Kamara.
Steven Gerrard’s men have been grinding out results in the Scottish Premiership this season, but they have it all to do in Group A after suffering a 2-0 loss at home to the French Ligue 1 giants on Matchday One.
Sparta Prague present another difficult test for the Light Blues, who are yet to hit top form this season. The Czech outfit were held to a goalless draw against Brondby in their opening game but have proven in recent times to be very dangerous opposition.
Celtic encountered trouble when they faced Pavel Vrba’s side in the competition last season as the Hoops crashed to an 8-1 aggregate defeat, with striker Lukas Julis scoring five goals over the two games.
The Scottish champions will therefore have to be at their best to return with a positive result.
We’ve gathered all the information you need on the match and how to watch it below…
What time does Sparta Prague vs Rangers kick-off?
Who: Sparta Prague vs Rangers
What: Europa League – Group Stage (Matchday Two)
Where: Letna Stadium, Prague
When: Thursday, September 30th, 5.45pm.
How to watch on TV – Is there a live stream?
Yes, the match will be shown live on BT Sport 3. Coverage begins at 5.15pm. Subscribers can stream the game via the BT Sport app or website.
The game will also be broadcast live by RangersTV.
What’s the team news ahead of Sparta Prague vs Rangers?
Rangers will be without the services of key centre-back Connor Goldson who did not travel with the squad yesterday due to unknown circumstances.
With Jack Simpson unregistered to play in Europe and Filip Helander facing a lengthy spell on the side-lines, that could see Steven Gerrard turn to left-back Calvin Bassey to slot in alongside Leon Balogun at centre-half.
The Ibrox club have been boosted by the inclusion of midfielder Scott Arfield after he missed training on Tuesday, while youngsters Stephen Kelly and Robby McCrorie have also flown out to the Czech capital.
Ryan Kent remains out but Ryan Jack will step up his recovery from a long-standing injury issue with Gerrard confirming: “He is due back on the pitch any day now and hopefully we will get him back within a couple of weeks, back within the group.
“We are not going to put a date on him. I think he’s been out too long and has missed too many games to put a date on it.”
Sparta Prague have doubts over the fitness of eight first-team players, with star striker Lukas Julis nursing a groin injury.
Danish defender Casper Hojer (calf) and midfielder Adam Karabec (muscle strain) will not be included, while skipper Borek Dockal joins his fellow Czech countrymen Matej Polidar, Ladislav Krejci, Filip Soucek and Matej Pulkrab in a race to be passed fit to play.