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Nov 4, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
Sparta PragueSparta Prague
Slimani (61', 63'), Toko Ekambi (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Vindheim (40'), Krejci (63')

Preview: Lyon vs. Sparta Prague - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lyon vs. Sparta Prague - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Lyon and Sparta Prague, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two weeks on from their dramatic seven-goal thriller, Lyon and Sparta Prague meet again on Thursday evening in Europa League action at the Groupama Stadium.

It was the French side who prevailed last time to stay top of Group A, but Sparta will be determined to get revenge.

Match preview

Lyon's form has been fairly hit and miss so far in Ligue 1. They started the season slowly with just two points from their first three games, but appeared to be on the up coming into their match with Nice.

That game was a heartbreaking one for Peter Bosz and his men, however, as they saw their 2-0 lead with 10 minutes left on the clock become a 3-2 loss after a Tino Kadewere red card and Nice goals in the 89th and 91st minute.

They bounced back at the weekend, though, with a 2-1 win at home to Lens - Karl Toko Ekambi and Houssem Aouar getting on the scoresheet yet again and the defence standing strong after allowing their opponents back into the match on the hour mark.

Les Gones now sit sixth in the table, level on points with Rennes and on the cusp of returning to the European spots.

That's three consecutive games in which Toko Ekambi and Aouar have both scored - with the former having netted five goals in the last four games - and Bosz will be hoping they can be relied on again to deliver against Sparta.

In the previous meeting, it was the Czech side who went 2-0 up early on through a Lukas Haraslin brace, before Les Gones turned the match around in the second half, despite Malo Gusto's dismissal with 15 minutes remaining.

Sparta have now failed to beat Lyon in their five previous attempts, suffering four defeats along with a 1-1 draw back in 2012.

Pavel Vrba will have been disappointed to see his team fall to such a defeat but can be pleased enough to see them currently sitting second in the group, having been knocked out at this stage last year and failing to progress through the qualifiers during the three previous campaigns.

In the league, the Iron Sparta are part of a breakaway top four covered by just three points, seven points clear of fifth place.

A 2-2 draw away at Banik Ostrava last weekend left them at the bottom of that top four and the Sparta fans will be desperate to see them move up to the summit as they continue to wait for their first league triumph since the 2013-14 season.

Lyon Europa League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Lyon form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Sparta Prague Europa League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L

Sparta Prague form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Gusto is suspended for Lyon after his red card in the last match between the two sides but Kadewere will return having served his suspension.

Bosz will also have a number of injuries to contend with - Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Moussa Dembele remain out, whilst Leo Dubois and Bruno Guimaraes both picked up knocks during the game at the weekend and are unlikely to be risked.

Islam Slimani made his first appearance in a month against Lens and could feature again here, although it is Kadewere who looks set to lead the line from the start.

Sparta's injury problems have eased considerably since the previous meeting where they had nine players missing, but they still have four sidelined.

Lukas Julis is out with a groin injury, Filip Soucek is suffering with a knee issue, Casper Hojer has a troublesome calf and Ladislav Krejci is ruled out due to illness.

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Silva, Diomande, Emerson; Caqueret, Guimaraes; Cherki, Aouar, Paqueta; Kadewere

Sparta Prague possible starting lineup:
Nita; Wiesner, Panak, Celustka, Hancko; Sacek, Pavelka; Pesek, Hlozek, Haraslin; Minchev

We say: Lyon 2-1 Sparta Prague

Lyon still have room for improvement this campaign but they have been excellent in Europe so far and have the benefit of home advantage here. We think that should be enough for them to secure another three points to maintain their 100% record and cement their place at the top of the group.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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