Sparta Prague v Liverpool Betting

the Czechs haven't played a competitive game since mid-December. Will this be an advantage or a hindrance? Rested and recuperated or rusty and lacking match practice?

Liverpool traveled to Prague this week for their first ever competitive game against a team from the Czech Republic capital.

The Europa League provided a welcome respite to manager Roy Hodgson earlier this season. Ironically, it may now serve as a distraction to new manager Kenny Dalglish as his side continues their rejuvenation on the domestic front.

Captain Steven Gerrard and defender Daniel Agger did not travel with the squad as they continue their recoveries from injury. Luis Suarez is ineligible and although Andy Carroll did travel he will not be considered for playing any part in the game.

Youngsters John Flanagan, Conor Coady, Jack Robinson and Tom Ince are all in Prague as is 16-year-old Raheem Sterling. Sterling, who scored five goals in Monday's 9-0 FA Youth Cup victory over Southend and is currently on half-term holidays from school, would become Liverpool's youngest ever player - 16 years and 71 days - if he were to feature tonight.

Rested or Rusty?

Liverpool are unbeaten in ten Europa League games this season, all of which came under Europa League-specialist Hodgson. Now under the stewardship of Dalglish it remains to be seen whether his knowledge of the continental game is as astute as his understanding of the Premier League.

In reality, the tactical side of things probably has more to do with assistant Steve Clarke. From what we hear from the players Dalglish's role is largely down to motivation while Clarke is the understated backbone of the Reds' recent revival.

Nevertheless this is a tricky tie for the Merseyside club, especially given the possibility that a number of youngsters could be blooded in the game.

Sparta Prague are Czech Republic's most successful club. They currently sit second in the Czech League and qualified from a tricky Europa League group that included Palermo and CSKA Moscow.

The most interesting point to consider is that, due to a winter break in their domestic league, the Czechs haven't played a competitive game since mid-December. Will this be an advantage or a hindrance? Rested and recuperated or rusty and lacking match practice?

While Liverpool have been getting their season back on track throughout a hectic winter schedule Sparta Prague have only just returned from a 10-day training camp in Mijas, Spain.

It should also be considered that the evening temperature in Prague at this time of year tends to hover around freezing. Although one would think that this shouldn't be a problem for modern day athletes, we all know that it can be.

Depending on which way you assess the above factors bettors are likely to have differing views on which way to place their bets. Liverpool are 10/11 to get what would be their first away win of the competition proper while Sparta are 3/1 to make a winning return after two months without a competitive game. Perhaps the draw at 12/5 will attract attention.

Although the Europa League isn't held in the highest regard across Europe it remains Liverpool's only remaining chance of winning some silverware this season. They'll be expected to win the return leg at Anfield next week but won't want to leave themselves with too much to do.

Written By:- Ben Gledhill (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 17/02/2011 - 10:51 AM
Filed in:- Premier League Betting News, Liverpool

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