Sparta Praha v Southampton background

A Sparta Praha win on matchday five will send them through to the round of 32 as they welcome a Southampton side who have scored in only one of their last eight European away games.

Charlie Austin scores against Sparta on matchday one
Charlie Austin scores against Sparta on matchday one ©AFP/Getty Images

Sparta have not won against English opponents since 1983 but know a victory at home to Southampton would confirm them in the round of 32 with a game to spare.

• Sparta are through with a win or a draw; Southampton progress with a win if Hapoel Tel-Aviv do not beat Inter.

• Hapoel must avoid defeat to keep their hopes alive, or draw provided Southampton do not win; Inter need to win or they cannot qualify.

Previous meetings
• In the Saints' maiden encounter with Czech opposition, they secured a comfortable 3-0 success against Sparta on matchday one.

• Sparta's record in 19 UEFA matches against English rivals is W3 D4 L12 (at home – W2 D2 L5). They are without a victory in their last 15 fixtures involving Premier League teams (D4 L11) since a 3-2 triumph at Watford on 23 November 1983.

Form guide
• Sparta are unbeaten in four home games in Europe this season (W3 D1), and have won both their Group K fixtures in Prague by two-goal margins.

• Southampton have not scored in their last three European away matches – a 0-0 draw and two 1-0 defeats. Indeed, they have scored in only one of their last eight games on the road in Europe (a 2-0 victory at Vitesse in August 2015) since a 3-0 success at Limerick in September 1981.

• Sparta have got 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.

• Southampton are making their debut in a UEFA group stage.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Southampton to Prague is about 1,100km.

• Sparta defender Ondřej Mazuch is one game shy of 50 UEFA club competition appearances.

• Sparta's Tomáš Rosický played in England with Arsenal from 2006–16.

The coaches
• 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.

• Frenchman Claude Puel took charge of Southampton this summer. He spent his entire playing career with Monaco, claiming two league titles as a player and one more as a coach. He has since led LOSC, Lyon and – for the past four seasons – Nice.

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