SK Slavia Praha have revenge in mind as they meet Tottenham Hotspur FC in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup looking to make amends for last season's first round exit. And Spurs' on-loan Slavia goalkeeper Radek Černý warned his White Hart Lane team-mates to pay no attention to the Czech side's 7-0 defeat by Arsenal FC in October.
Slavia lost both legs 1-0 when they took on Tottenham 17 months ago, with Jermaine Jenas scoring the only goal at the Evgena Rošického Stadium, though the Czech club went on to make amends by winning the league and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time. That run was a mixed blessing, impressive home form offset by poor returns on their travels, the thrashing at Arsenal having been preceded by a 4-2 loss to Sevilla FC, then coached by current Tottenham manager Juande Ramos. Černý watched Slavia's defeat by Arsenal in his guise as a television pundit. "They had bad luck in London," said the 33-year-old. "The result is no reason to underestimate them. I suggest focusing more on their home goalless draw with Arsenal."
Černý spent 12 years with Slavia after turning professional in 1993, continuing a family tradition as his father and elder brother Petr also wore the No1 shirt for the club. He departed to White Hart Lane in January 2005 on a loan deal that has been extended until this summer, yet if he was to return to Slavia he would fail to recognise many of his team-mates, with Lukáš Jarolím, Stanislav Vlček and Michal Švec all notable departures. Marek Jarolím, nephew of coach Karel, and David Střihavka have arrived too and may get their chances as František Dřížďal, Dušan Švento and Vladimir Šmicer are all sidelined.
Slavia have not played a competitive game since their 3-0 home loss to Sevilla on 12 December, and Černý believes the lack of match practice could be "to Tottenham's advantage as we are in full stride". The keeper is hoping to provide Spurs with another advantage on Thursday, and having been warmly received when he made his way to the substitutes' bench last season, he can expect a more hostile welcome this time around.
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