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Played
February 21, 2013 8:05 PM GMT
Stamford Bridge — London
Referee:‬ A. Stavrev‎
Attendance:‬ 38642‎
 
90+2′ Eden Hazard
David Lafata 17′

Chelsea - Sparta Prague Preview: Blues out to seal last 16 spot at Stamford Bridge

Having won a dour first leg 1-0 away from home thanks to a goal from Oscar, the Premier League side welcome the Czechs to their home ground for the return fixture

By Chris Teale

Rafael Benitez
Getty
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Bertrand
Ramires, Lampard
Marin, Mata, Oscar
Torres


SPARTA PRAGUE


Vaclik
Zapotocny, Hybs, Svejdik, Pamic
Vacha, Matejovsky, Jarosik, Husbauer, Krejci
Lafata


For the home side, Demba Ba is cup-tied having appeared for Newcastle in the competition this season, so Fernando Torres should lead the line.

Chelsea may start with a strong side as they look to wrap up the tie, with manager Rafael Benitez expected to rotate if a victory is secured.

Meanwhile, the Blues have no new injury or suspension worries ahead of this game, with David Luiz available again.

For Sparta, Jiri Jarosik missed the first leg with injury but should be fit for this game and, despite his poor finishing in the first leg, striker David Lafata should continue up front.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • The first leg of this tie was Chelsea’s first game in this competition since the 2002-03 season.
  • Brazilian Oscar (pictured) was on the pitch for less than a minute before he scored the winning goal in the first leg last week.
  • Before the first-leg clash, these teams last met in the group stage of the 2003-04 Champions League, with the Blues taking four points from the two games.
  • Sparta Prague have never won a major club competition organised by Uefa.
  • Sparta captain Marek Matejovsky spent two seasons with Reading in the Premier League, making 51 appearances for the Royals and scoring twice.
  • The club’s most famous run in a European competition came in the first ever Champions League in the 1991-92 season, when they defeated Rangers and Marseille to reach the semi-final stage.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
24Gary CahillDefender
26John TerryDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
12Victor MosesMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
4David LuizDefender
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
17Eden HazardMidfielder
21Marko MarinMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
31Tomas VaclikGoalkeeper
19Matěj HybšDefender
20Tomas ZapotocnyDefender
4Ondrej SvejdikMidfielder
8Marek MatejovskyMidfielder
23Ladislav KrejciMidfielder
25Mario HolekMidfielder
6Lukas VachaMidfielder
6Tomáš PřikrylStriker
-David LafataStriker
10Václav KadlecStriker
1Marek ČechGoalkeeper
3Manuel PamićDefender
24Vlastimil VidličkaDefender
27Roman PolomDefender
32Adam JanosMidfielder
9Leonard KweukeStriker
9Roman BednarStriker
Players to Watch
Juan Mata
Juan Mata
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Juan Mata has been in inspired form this season for the Blues, and will likely provide the biggest attacking threat to Sparta Prague’s defenders during this game. The Spaniard is Chelsea’s top scorer this season in all competitions, and will be keen to help put the tie to bed as early as possible.
David Lafata
David Lafata
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
He may have been slightly wasteful in front of goal in the first leg, but David Lafata represents Sparta’s best chance of getting back into this tie. The Czech Republic international moved to Prague earlier this year, and will need to be on top form if his side are to progress against the Premier League side.
Prediction
They may have struggled in the first leg, but the Blues will be confident of securing victory in front of their home fans. Things may be difficult if Sparta score an early goal, but regardless Chelsea should take a relatively comfortable win.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
11 2
Jermain Defoe Jermain Defoe
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Toronto FC
7 1
Alexander Meier Alexander Meier
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Eintracht Frankfurt
7 1
Paco Alcácer Paco Alcácer
Striker
Valencia
7 0
Kevin Gameiro Kevin Gameiro
Striker
Sevilla
6 0