H. Beer-Sheva v Sparta Praha background

Israeli champions Hapoel Beer-Sheva are unbeaten in four European home matches at their new Turner Stadium as they welcome Sparta Praha in UEFA Europa League Group K.

Ben Sahar after scoring for Beer-Sheva
Ben Sahar after scoring for Beer-Sheva ©AFP/Getty Images

Hapoel Beer-Sheva's Turner Stadium remains a European fortress as the Israeli champions host Sparta Praha in UEFA Europa League Group K.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in what is Beer-Sheva's first encounter with Czech opposition.

• Sparta's only experience of Israeli teams came in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage, where they won 3-1 at home and drew 1-1 away against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.

Form guide
• Beer-Sheva are unbeaten in four European home matches at their new Turner Stadium (W3 D1), and in six UEFA home fixtures in total (W3 D3) since a 3-0 forfeit loss to Vllaznia in the first round of the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• Beer-Sheva, Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk are the only sides yet to concede in this season's group stage coming into matchday three.

• The Israeli club are making their UEFA group stage debut this term, having been eliminated by Celtic in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• Sparta are without a victory in four European away games (D1 L3) and have not scored in the most recent three.

• Sparta have made it to the knockout phase in three of their seven UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, including three of their last four attempts.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Prague to Beer Sheva is around 2,700km.

• Sparta's David Lafata is the club's all-time top scorer in European competition with 22 goals; Beer-Sheva's leading European marksmen have scored two each: Yossi Benayoun and Sergei Gusev along with current players Maor Buzaglo, Ovidiu Hoban and John Ogu.

The coaches
• Beer-Sheva boss Barak Bakhar steered the team to their first Israeli championship in 2015/16, his first term in charge. He previously landed the 2013/14 Israeli Cup at the helm of Kiryat Shmona, where he had spent the bulk of his playing career as a defender.

• Zdeněk Ščasný stepped aside as Sparta coach in the wake of a 2-0 home reverse to Slavia in the 25 September Prague derby. His former assistants David Holoubek, Stanislav Hejkal and Zdeněk Svoboda are in temporary command.

Top