Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Atmosphere at Ibrox Stadium will be electrifying when Rangers and Sparta square off against each other in the Europa League round 4 on Thursday evening. The Gers have a chance to climb to top two in Group C and we are positive that they will adopt an attack-minded approach this time out. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be right back James Tavernier, who scored a brace in the Scottish League Cup win (3-1) over Hearts at the weekend, while all Kemar Roofe, Tom Lawrence, Rabbi Matondo, and Steven Davis remain on the sidelines with injuries.
Sparta Prague, on the other hand, head into the match following a 2-0 win over Bohemians in the national championship, but seeing that Rangers have turned their “Ibrox” into a real fortress, home win should be considered. Both Ladislav Krejci and Matej Rynes are out of contention with injuries for the visiting side.
Highlighted Player (Jon McLaughlin):
Jon McLaughlin is a goalkeeper who plays for Sunderland. The 188-cm-tall shoot-stopper played for non-League sides Harrogate Railway Athletic and Harrogate Town in the past, but in 2008 he joined Bradford City. After spending six years at Valley Parade, McLaughlin signed a contract with Burton Albion and he has been playing for the Pirelli Stadium outfit ever since.
Jon McLaughlin made 45 appearances for Burton Albion in both 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons and he has established his self as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper. He was producing scintillating displays for Burton in the 2015/2016 League One campaign and, no doubt, he helped the team secure promotion to the Championship.
Jon McLaughlin was born on 9 September, 1987 in Edinburgh, but he has yet to make his debut for the Scotland national team. Speaking of his honours, the goalkeeper won the Football League Two play-offs with Bradford City in the 2012/2013 season.
Highlighted Team (Sparta Prague):
Established in 1893, Sparta Prague is one of Europe’s oldest clubs and the most successful side in Czech Republic, having won no fewer than 36 league titles and 27 Czech Cup trophies. The club play their games at the Generali Arena in Prague and hold a long-lasting rivalry with Slavia Prague.
Sparta Prague enjoyed their Golden Years in the 1960’s, when average attendance was nearly 40,000 and players like Jiri Tichy, Andrej Kvasnak and Vaclav Masek entertained the crowds week in week out. Rudi largely impressed in the maiden Champions League campaign during the 1991/92 season as they finished second in the semi-final group, meaning they were among top 4 European sides at the moment.
Nevertheless, Sparta Prague have enjoyed little to no success on the European stage since, reaching the Champions League knockout stages on just one occasion, with their latest major coup the return of prodigal son Tomas Rosicky from Arsenal.