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Slavia Praha vs Leicester: UEFA Europa League background, form guide, previous meetings

Slavia have won just once in 11 meetings with English opposition, but gave Chelsea a huge fright in this competition in 2019.

Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans celebrating with Leicester earlier this season
Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans celebrating with Leicester earlier this season Leicester City FC via Getty Imag

Leicester City's debut campaign in the UEFA Europa League continues in the round of 32 with a visit to Czech champions Slavia Praha.

• Slavia made up for a UEFA Champions League play-off defeat by convincingly coming through a UEFA Europa League section headed by Bayer Leverkusen, while competition novices Leicester made light work of Group G, securing their knockout phase berth with two matches to spare and finishing top on head-to-head above Braga with 13 points.

Highlights: Slavia Praha 3-0 H. Beer-Sheva

Previous meetings
• This is Leicester's first UEFA encounter with a team from the Czech Republic.

• Slavia have won just one of their 11 UEFA matches against English opposition (D2 L8), losing all four of their two-legged knockout ties, the most recent against Chelsea in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League quarter-final, when Jindřich Trpišovský's team were beaten both in Prague (0-1) and London (3-4), midfielder Petr Ševčík scoring a double in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

• Slavia have lost their last three home games against English visitors, all by a one-goal margin, and have scored just one goal in the last five. Their heaviest European defeat also came against Premier League opposition – a 7-0 loss at Arsenal in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Form guide

Highlights: Nice 1-3 Slavia Praha

• Champions of the Czech Republic for the third time in four years last season, Slavia missed out on a second successive UEFA Champions League group stage adventure this term when, led again by coach Trpišovský, they were defeated by Midtjylland in the play-offs (0-0 h, 1-4 a).

• Fourth in their UEFA Champions League section last season, behind Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Internazionale, Slavia finished second in their UEFA Europa League group this term, a run of four successive wins from Matchday 2 to Matchday 5 enabling them to finish runners-up to Leverkusen – who closed the section by beating them 4-0 in Germany – ahead of Hapoel Beer-Sheva and Nice.

• This is the second time in four attempts that Slavia have made it through the group stage to the knockout phase. Their one previous round of 32 tie proved successful as they followed up a goalless draw against Genk with a resounding 4-1 second-leg win in Belgium. They then pulled off a momentous round of 16 win against competition specialists Sevilla (2-2 a, 4-3 h aet) before going out to Chelsea.

• Slavia took maximum points from their home games in Group C during the autumn – against Leverkusen (1-0), Nice (3-2) and Hapoel (3-0) – but have nevertheless won only four of their last nine European home fixtures, losing the same number, including all three in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

Highlights: Leicester 4-0 Braga

• Leicester finished fifth in the 2019/20 Premier League to qualify for a first appearance in the UEFA Europa League and direct entry to the group stage.

• This is only the club's fifth European campaign. Their most successful was the most recent, in 2016/17, when, as champions of England, they made their debut appearance in the UEFA Champions League, topped their group and went on to reach the quarter-finals – the best performance by any English club in the competition that season – where they lost to Atlético de Madrid.

• They are now playing springtime European football for only the second time, having breezed through their UEFA Europa League group in the autumn, claiming early qualification with wins in their first three matches – against Zorya Luhansk (3-0 h), AEK Athens (2-1 a) and Braga (4-0 h) – and a last-gasp 3-3 draw in Portugal. Despite a first defeat, 0-1 at Zorya, on Matchday 5, they closed their campaign with a third successive home win, 2-0 against AEK, to ensure progress as group winners.

• Leicester's win in Athens on Matchday 2 ended a run of three successive European away defeats. They have won only three of their 12 fixtures in UEFA competition outside England (D2 L7), the most impressive of them 3-0 at Club Brugge on their UEFA Champions League debut four seasons ago.

UEFA Europa League squad changes

Slavia Praha
In: Alexander Bah (SonderyskE), Simon Deli (Club Brugge, loan), Jakub Hromada
 Out: Petar Musa (Union Berlin, loan), Ondřej Karafiát (Liberec, loan), Tomáš Malinský (Mladá Boleslav, loan)

Leicester City
In: Daniel Amartey
 Out: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Luton, loan), Wes Morgan

Highlights: Leicester 2-0 AEK

Links and trivia

• Slavia's Nicolae Stanciu and Leicester's Youri Tielemans were Belgian title winners together at Anderlecht in 2016/17.

• Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has lost all four of his previous UEFA Europa League round of 32 ties – two in charge of Liverpool (against Zenit in 2012/13 and Beşiktaş in 2014/15) and two with Celtic (against Zenit again in 2017/18 and Valencia in 2018/19).

• Rodgers was the manager of Celtic when they played a pre-season friendly at the Eden Arena against Slavia on 4 July 2017; the game ended 0-0.

• Slavia players Jan Bořil and Lukáš Masopust were in the Czech Republic side that defeated England 2-1 at the Eden Arena in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier on 11 October 2019.

• Slavia's Peter Olayinka is a Nigeria team-mate of Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho.

• Leicester are the only one of the 48 clubs who entered this season's group stage having never played a match in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included. One of six group stage debutants this term, they are now one of five clubs appearing in the knockout phase of the competition for the first time, alongside Antwerp, Granada, Hoffenheim and Wolfsberg.