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Sparta scrap for Lyon success

Published: Tuesday 13 November 2012, 20.32CET
AC Sparta Praha need just a point to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32, but they may struggle to get it as they take on in-form Olympique Lyonnais in Group I.
Sparta scrap for Lyon success
Sparta coach Vítězslav Lavička ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 13 November 2012, 20.32CET

Sparta scrap for Lyon success

AC Sparta Praha need just a point to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32, but they may struggle to get it as they take on in-form Olympique Lyonnais in Group I.

AC Sparta Praha will look to rein in the side with the best record in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage as Olympique Lyonnais return to Prague in Group I.

• Sparta need just one more point to confirm their place in the round of 32, but would go through regardless in the event of a draw between Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC and Athletic Club in the other Group I game. Lyon need a point to be sure of finishing top of the group.

Previous meetings
• Lyon beat Sparta 2-1 at home on matchday one, with Bafétimbi Gomis heading their opener and setting up Lisandro for their second three minutes later before Ladislav Krejčí (77) pulled one back for Sparta.

• The sides had met for the first time in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage, with Paul Le Guen's Lyon beating František Straka's team 2-1 in Prague and then 5-0 at home – one of the three heaviest defeats in Sparta's European history.

• The teams for that first encounter in Prague on 28 September 2004 were:
Sparta:
Blažek, Pergl, Sivok, Zelenka (Baranek 82), Poborský, Čech (Voříšek 46), Urbánek, Kováč, Pacanda (Střihavka 62), Jun, Homola.
Lyon: Coupet, Cris, Essien, Caçapa, Diarra, Juninho (Diatta 83), Malouda, Réveillère*, Govou (Nilmar 85), Wiltord (Frau 73), Berthod.

• The teams for the return fixture in Lyon on 8 December 2004 were:
Lyon: Puydebois, Essien, Diarra (Gomez 56), Malouda (Idangar 67), Nilmar, Réveillère*, Frau, Diatta, Bergougnoux, Berthod (Truchet 81), Clément.
Sparta: Blažek, Labant (Urbánek 28), Sivok, Zelenka, Poborský, Voříšek, Kováč, Šimák (Meduna 65), Petráš, Jun (Pacanda 79), Homola.

* registered to play for the club in 2012/13.

Match background
• Sparta's record in eight fixtures against French sides reads W2 D2 L4 (W1 D1 L1 at home – W1 D1 L3 in France).

• Sparta are the only Czech club that Lyon have beaten; their record in five games against Czech opponents reads W3 D1 L1 (W2 D1 L0 at home – W1 D0 L1 in the Czech Republic).

• The Czech club are unbeaten in ten UEFA home games (W6 D4) since a 2-0 loss to MŠK Žilina in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League play-offs. They have scored at least twice in all of their European home games this season.

• Lyon have won both of their group stage away games this season, scoring seven but conceding five goals in the process.

Team facts
• Lyon are the group stage's top scorers with 11 goals so far and the only side to have reached matchday five with a full complement of 12 points.

• Vitězslav Lavička represented Sparta in three spells as a midfielder in the 1980s and 1990s, and is now in his second term as the club's coach, following a spell in charge in 2008. Once coach of the Czech Under-21 side, he won the Australian title with Sydney FC in 2009/10 before returning to Prague in 2012.

• Rémi Garde replaced Claude Puel as Lyon coach in June 2011, having worked behind the scenes as a coach and assistant manager since 2003, and also as a television pundit after hanging up his boots. Capped six times, Garde played as a defender for Lyon and then RC Strasbourg, finishing his career in England at Arsenal FC.

Last updated: 14/11/12 10.43CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000356/match=2010003/prematch/background/index.html#sparta+scrap+lyon+success

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