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Oct 21, 2021 at 8pm UK
Sparta PragueSparta Prague
Haraslin (4', 19'), Krejci (90+6')
Haraslin (59'), Pavelka (80')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Toko Ekambi (42', 88'), Aouar (53'), Paqueta (67')
Henrique (25'), Gusto (52'), Boateng (59'), Toko Ekambi (62'), Dubois (63'), Paqueta (68'), Mendes (85')
Gusto (74')

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

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

Lyon will be looking to claim their third successive victory in the Europa League, when they travel to the Czech Republic to face Sparta Prague on Thursday night.

The Ligue 1 outfit currently sit at the summit of Group A, two points clear of the Iron Sparta, who have claimed four points from their opening two fixtures.

Match preview

Sparta Prague extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to seven matches when they beat FK Pardubice 4-2 away from home last weekend.

A first-half brace from Martin Minchev as well as strikes from Tomas Wiesner and Jakob Pesek helped the Iron Sparta secure their eighth Czech First League victory of the campaign.

That result keeps them four points behind leaders Viktoria Plzen, who are the only side to have beaten Pavel Vrba's men in any competition so far this campaign, winning 3-2 in mid-September.

Sparta Prague head into Thursday's clash against Lyon having lost each of their last four games against French opposition in European competition.

The Iron Sparta have also failed to beat Lyon in their four previous attempts, suffering three defeats before claiming a 1-1 draw on home soil in their last meeting back in 2012 in the Europa League group stage.

Vrba's men will been keen to claim something from Thursday's game, as they aim to reach the knockout rounds for the first time since 2015-16.

After a slow start in Ligue 1, Lyon have since put together a run of four league games without defeat, including last weekend's 2-0 victory at home against Monaco.

Karl Toko Ekambi's 75th-minute penalty broke the deadlock before Jason Denayer added a second in stoppage time to seal all three points for Peter Bosz's men.

Les Gones have moved up to sixth in the French top-flight standings, and are just two points behind high-flying Lens in second place, who they will face in just over a week's time.

Lyon are one of the frontrunners with the bookmakers to win this year's Europa League, and have shown their credentials for lifting the trophy, after winning their opening two games against Rangers and Brondby by an aggregate score of 5-0.

Bosz's side have won each of their last three away matches in the Europa League and will be the strong favourites to secure another three points on Thursday against a Sparta Prague side who have never beaten them.

Sparta Prague Europa League form:
  • D
  • W

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

Lyon Europa League form:
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Sparta Prague's star striker Lukas Julis remains unavailable with a groin injury, so Minchev is expected to start up front once again, with Adam Hlozek playing in behind.

The hosts will also be without Ladislav Krejci (blood clot in the lungs) and Casper Hojer (calf), while Dominik Holec is doubtful with a knock.

Wingers Pesek and Lukas Haraslin started in the first two group games and they will likely keep their places in the first XI on Thursday.

As for Lyon, Moussa Dembele (calf), Islam Slimani (muscle), Lenny Pintor (knee) and Jeff Reine-Adelaide (knee) all remain out with injuries.

Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes served a domestic suspension for their victory against Monaco, but is expected to return between the sticks at the expense of Julian Pollersbeck.

Lucas Paqueta began last weekend's league game on the bench after arriving back late from international duty, but the Brazilian should be in contention to start ahead of Rayan Cherki, and will likely play in an advanced midfield role alongside Houssem Aouar and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Sparta Prague possible starting lineup:
Nita; Wiesner, Panak, Stetina, Hancko; Sacek, Pavelka, Soucek; Moberg Karlsson, Hlozek, Pesek

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Boateng, Diomande, Emerson; Caqueret, Guimaraes; Shaqiri, Aouar, Paqueta; Toko Ekambi

We say: Sparta Prague 0-2 Lyon

A closely-fought contest is set to be played out on Thursday between two sides who are yet to concede in Group A, though Lyon will be the favourites to come out on top at the Generali Arena.

The French visitors should be strong enough to secure another victory, which would move them five points clear at the summit after just three games.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:curl

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