Europa League • AC Sparta Prague-AC Milan Preview: For Football

Going to Prague on Thursday, Milan have already qualified for the next round, and Sparta Prague are mathematically eliminated. If Lille lose or draw to Celtic and Milan win, then we could change our position in the group, but that is about all there is to play for. Well, that, and football. Milan players have said that the main objective is to win every match, and the side effect of that has been some pretty good football, too. So I hope that both Sparta Prague and Milan are willing to play for the fans, and if nothing else, for football.


For football

Sparta Prague now sit in second in the Czech First League, five points behind that first place spot. They have also won two and lost three of their group stage matches. This includes their 3-0 loss to Milan at the San Siro, as well as their 2-1 loss to Lille last week. Against Lille, all three goals came after Sparta Prague went down to 10 men in the 64th minute. For that match, Kotal lined up Nita; Plechaty, Celustka, Krejci(37); Vindheim, Pavelka, Dockal, Soucek, Krejci (9), Julis, and Moberg-Karlsson. Kotal will be without defender Celustka, who was sent off last week and will be suspended. He will also be missing Hlozek, Stetina and Sacek to injuries.

Pioli will still be missing Ibrahimovic, Leao, and Kjaer for this match. While Ibrahimovic has recovered very quickly and been cleared to play this Sunday, he will not be available for this match. It is uncertain as of this writing whether or not Bennacer will be cleared for this match, as he missed the Sampdoria trip on Sunday due to a slight muscle issue. Fans will be clamoring for Hauge, who has been so impressive, but especially in the Europa League this season. We are also likely to see Dalot, who was so instrumental against Sparta Prague in the first matchup. The best news is that we shouldn't have to see Tatarusanu again in this leg, as Gigio is healthy and fit.


Looking for a win in every game

It is most likely that Pioli will allow some of the starters to rest and give some time to players who have not had as much, given the tired legs and impacted schedule to date. Milan will still be playing for the win, and have proven time and time again this season that their young talent actually does provide the depth that has been so needed in recent years. Hopefully both teams show up to play, because while this match may not mean much on paper, this one is for football.


This post inspired by the music of Us3's "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"


Europa League Group Stage
AC Sparta Prague vs. AC Milan
Thursday, December 10: 21:00 CET (3 pm EST)
This match may be streamed LIVE on CBS All Access in the U.S.


Europa League • AC Sparta Prague-AC Milan Preview: For Football Europa League • AC Sparta Prague-AC Milan Preview: For Football Reviewed by Elaine on 12:55 PM Rating: 5
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