Chelsea vs. Sparta Prague: Date, Start Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
After picking up a 1-0 win away from home in the first leg of their Europa League clash, Chelsea will look to book their spot in the final 16 with a win here.
The defending Champions League winners have already been booted from the major European tournament but are certainly a threat to take out silverware in Europe this season—something they'll look to keep alive with a strong performance here.
Their opponents, Sparta Prague, pushed the Blues away from home in the first leg and were perhaps unlucky not to walk away with a draw for their efforts.
They'll now face the tough ask of coming to Stamford Bridge and trying to peg back the one goal lead that Chelsea have heading into this one. Which, given the squad that Rafa Benitez has at his disposal, certainly won't be an easy task for the Czech Republic side.
Who will triumph in the second leg of this Europa League fixture?
Read on for a full preview of the match including all the important details, live stream and viewing information as well as some last-minute predictions.
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Start time: 3:05 p.m. ET (8:05 p.m. local time)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England
Live Stream and TV Info
Fox Soccer 2Go and Fox Soccer Channel will both show coverage of this match throughout the United States, according to Live Soccer TV.
ESPN UK / HD will do the same throughout the United Kingdom.
Three facts to consider
29. Sparta Prague have not won in England in 29 years since they defeated Watford FC in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup third round. Granted, they have only played six matches in England in that time, but they have also not won in their last four European away matches.
9. Chelsea are undefeated in their last nine European matches at Stamford Bridge, having gone undefeated at home in the Champions League group stage. Their last loss at home in European competition came against Manchester United, back in the 2010/11 Champions League quarterfinals.
17. Chelsea have scored 17 goals in European competition since the start of the Champions League group stages—the most out of any UEFA club in 2013.
Preview and prediction
All the signs point towards Chelsea extending their unbeaten streak at home in European competition here—something that the Blues should do with relative ease.
The West London club would have likely entered this match as very firm favorites even if they'd not beaten Sparta Prague in the first leg, and now that they have that one goal advantage in the bag, they'll surely progress through to the round of 16 with a win in this one.
Having said that, Sparta Prague did show that they will be tough to break down defensively in the first leg and have fought gallantly away from home against top sides previously. They drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao earlier in the Europa League this season, so they are certainly not going to roll over here for the Blues—though it is hard seeing them beaten Chelsea by two goals here.
What starting team Benitez will line up in this one should be interesting, especially if he opts for Fernando Torres over Demba Ba or vice versa. Either way, Chelsea should have too much dominance here for the visitors and should book their place in the final 16 with a solid win in this one.
Sparta Prague will no doubt hang in there against Chelsea, but in the end, the Blues will pull away courtesy of a brace from Juan Mata on the night.
Prediction: Chelsea 2, Sparta Prague 0 (Chelsea win 3-0 on aggregate)
What do you think will happen in this Europa League clash?
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