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Lazio v Sparta Praha background

A 1-1 draw in Prague has left the ball very much in Lazio's court, but with Sparta also unbeaten in this season's UEFA Europa League, it could be a long night in Rome.

Lazio's Antonio Candreva after going close in the first leg
Lazio's Antonio Candreva after going close in the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images

SS Lazio came away from Prague with a 1-1 draw in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 opener, but can expect another gruelling encounter with AC Sparta Praha in Rome, with both sides still unbeaten in the competition.

Previous meetings
• Marco Parolo cancelled out Martin Frýdek's spectacular effort for Sparta in the first leg.

• Lazio have had the better of the sides' five European meetings (W2 D2 L1). Sven-Göran Eriksson's Lazio got the better of Ivan Hašek's Sparta home and away in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League group stage, but, in the same competition in 2003/04, Jiří Kotrba's Sparta held Roberto Mancini's Lazio to a 2-2 draw in Rome and then beat them 1-0 in Prague.

• Those five games represent Lazio's only experience of Czech opponents.

• Sparta have yet to win in 11 games in Italy. Their record in 23 European encounters with Italian teams is W3 D10 L10 (W3 D7 L2 in Prague – W0 D3 L8 in Italy).

Form guide
• Sparta, Lazio, Liverpool FC and – of the round of 32 entrants – FC Shakhtar Donetsk are the only surviving sides yet to lose in this season's UEFA Europa League proper.

• Lazio have won all five of their European home games this season, scoring three in each of their last four UEFA games at the Stadio Olimpico.

• Sparta are unbeaten in six games on the road this season (W2 D4), scoring at least once in all of those matches – significant given how much away goals could count in this tie.

 • Lazio last contested the round of 16 in 2012/13, when they beat VfB Stuttgart en route to a last-eight loss to Fenerbahçe SK. In their most successful campaign in this competition, they went down 3-0 against FC Internazionale Milano in the 1998 UEFA Cup final.

• Sparta last reached the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1983/84 – their best campaign in this competition.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Prague to Rome is around 900km.

• Sparta have been penalised for 168 fouls from the group stage onwards – 23 more than any other side in this season's competition. They have also received the most yellow cards (25) after nine matchdays.

• Sparta defender Ondřej Mazuch was part of the FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk squad that graced the UEFA Europa League final last term, though he did not play in the 3-2 final reverse to Sevilla FC.

• Lazio's Lucas Biglia played alongside Mazuch (2009–11) and Lukáš Mareček (2010–13) at RSC Anderlecht.

• Mazuch also has Serie A experience, the defender having been an ACF Fiorentina player from 2007–09, though he made just two league outings for the Viola.

• Notable players who represented both clubs include Pavel Nedvěd (Sparta 1992–96, Lazio 1996–2001) and Karel Poborský (Lazio 2000–01, Sparta 2002–05).

The coaches
• A central defender with Juventus and Fiorentina among others, Stefano Pioli was appointed by Lazio in June 2014. He has been a coach in Italy's top two divisions since 2003, his clubs including hometown side Parma FC, AC Chievo Verona and most recently Bologna FC.

• Experienced trainer Zdeněk Ščasný, 58, took over at Sparta last April. Once a defender-cum-midfielder, he won Czechoslovakian titles with FK Dukla Praha and Sparta. As a coach, he steered Sparta to two championships in the 1990s and has also managed in Greece and Hungary.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Lazio have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.

• Sparta's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
L 3-1 H v FC Dynamo Kyiv (1998/99 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round)
W 4-3 A v Odense BK (2007/08 UEFA Cup first round)