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Sparta Prague v Liverpool: Tips, predictions & odds

Liverpool’s pursuit of further silverware continues with their Europa League round of 16, first-leg trip to Czech champions Sparta Prague.

Sparta were 6-4 aggregate victors against Galatasaray in the knockout round play-offs and that showcased the attacking talent that they have at their disposal.

Sparta Prague v Liverpool

Sparta Prague v Liverpool Predictions

Sparta Prague or draw double chance - 10/11

Liverpool have one trophy in the bag and will be doing their utmost to secure additional honours in Jurgen Klopp’s last season on Merseyside, but their Europa League hopes could be dented by a poor result away to Sparta Prague at Stadion Letna.

The Reds have been stretched to the limit by injuries and their hectic schedule, but up to this point they have continued to churn out the victories.

Klopp’s charges rode their luck to register a 1-0 extra-time victory over Chelsea in the EFL Cup final and followed up with wins at home to Southampton (3-0) and away to Nottingham Forest (1-0) in the FA Cup and the Premier League.

However, Liverpool’s success over Saints was assisted by the Championship’s club’s decision to make eight chances to their starting line-up and the weekend win at Forest was influenced by referee Paul Tierney, who wrongly handed them possession from a restart deep into injury-time.

Liverpool’s victory at the City Ground kept their noses in front in a thrilling title race but there are 11 games to go, including Sunday’s titanic tussle at home to Manchester City.

Klopp will be keen to approach the City game with as strong a squad as possible and he is highly likely to utilise a few of his youngsters and fringe players against Sparta, knowing he has the insurance of next Thursday’s second leg on home soil.

It is a tricky balancing act for Klopp, who might not be overly concerned if his team were to be held to a draw or perhaps even slide to a single-goal defeat.

From a Sparta perspective, the fixture list has worked in their favour and it is up to them to take advantage.

They have had a strong European campaign without any home defeats and are flying high at the top of the Czech league with four points separating them from city rivals Slavia Prague.

Sparta would love a lead to defend on Merseyside and they are decent value at 10/11 to at least avoid a first leg loss.

Under 1.5 Liverpool goals - 1/1

Liverpool are the second-highest scorers in this season’s Premier League with 64 goals in 27 matches, but they might not be firing on all cylinders in the Czech capital and look a solid bet at 1/1 to score under 1.5 goals.

Klopp has decisions to make across all areas of the pitch and his squad is particularly stretched in attacking areas with Diogo Jota unavailable and Mohamed Salah working his way back from a persistent hamstring injury.

Other first-choice attackers may need to be rested with the weekend in mind and that should play into the hands of Sparta, who are not used to conceding many goals.

Sparta have the best defensive record in the Czech top-flight with only 15 goals against from 23 matches.

They have conceded fewer than two goals in each of their last 11 home matches and can keep things tight against Liverpool, ensuring they have plenty to play for when the tie resumes at Anfield next Thursday.

Lukas Haraslin to score or assist - 2/1

Slovakia international winger Lukas Haraslin is the top scorer for Sparta this season with 14 goals in all competitions and he could make his mark against Liverpool.

Haraslin has contributed four goals during Sparta’s European campaign and approaches the first leg high on confidence after netting three times in his last four appearances.

The 27-year-old delivered three goals and one assist for Slovakia during their successful Euro 2024 qualifying campaign and he has the necessary quality to cause problems for what is likely to be an under-strength Reds defence.

Haraslin could be key to the hosts’ efforts to secure a first leg advantage and he seems an overpriced 2/1 shot to score or assist.

Read more football betting tips and predictions

Sparta Prague v Liverpool Odds

Sparta Prague - 14/5
Draw -
11/4
Liverpool -
17/20

View the full market and more odds for Sparta Prague v Liverpool on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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