The third qualifying round of the 2021/22 Champions League gets underway this week with a first-leg meeting between Sparta Prague and Monaco in the Czech Republic on Tuesday at 6pm (UK time).
Sparta Prague are familiar with French opposition having met Ligue 1 champions Lille in the Europa League group stages last season, but new head coach Pavel Vrba will be hoping to get into the continent’s premier tournament this time around. He faces Niko Kovac’s Monaco, with Les Monegasques looking to end their two-year exile from the Champions League. The winner of this tie will face either Genk or Shakhtar Donetsk in the final qualifying round.
How to live stream Sparta Prague vs Monaco online:
Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier is on Bet365’s live-stream schedule for readers with an account. Those without a bet365 account who are over 18 and Gamble Aware need only follow three simple steps to watch Sparta Prague vs Monaco online*:
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Scoreline prediction: Sparta Prague 1-1 Monaco
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Sparta Prague vs Monaco build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The Czech First League runners-up had to come from behind to beat Rapid Vienna in the second qualifying round, losing the first leg 2-1 in Austria, before securing a 2-0 triumph on their return to more familiar surroundings. It’s a good start for recently-appointed Vrba (Czech Republic’s manager between 2014 and 2016) but he will not be satisfied unless Sparta reach the Champions League groups, something they have not achieved since the 2005/06 season.
Monaco, meanwhile, have had a slightly shorter absence from the Champions League, last competing in 2018/19, a chaotic season that saw Leonardo Jardim (twice), Thierry Henry and Franck Passi all occupy the dugout. However, under former Bayern Munich manager Kovac, the French club are a lot more stable, finishing third last season, and he will be desperate to boost his reputation further by guiding Monaco back into Europe’s elite setting.
- Sparta Prague (vs Slovan Liberec): Nita; Wiesner, Panak, Hancko, Polidar; Krejci, Pavelka, Sacek, Pesek; Dockal; Julis.
- Monaco (vs Real Sociedad): Nubel; Sidibe, Badiashile, Disasi; Martins, Matazo, Tchouameni, Henrique; Golovin, Ben Yedder; Volland.
Cesc Fabregas and Youssouf Fofana made substitute appearances in Monaco’s recent friendly with Real Sociedad, but Kovac may be tempted to play both midfielders from the off, with the duo offering a blend of experience, enterprise and creative flair.
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Player to watch: Adam Hlozek (Sparta Prague)
David Moyes and West Ham’s scouting team may well be casting a glance on events in Prague on Tuesday night as teenage sensation and heavily-linked Adam Hlozek will likely get further minutes, and will be able to pit is wits against elite opposition. The 19-year-old was a breakthrough star last season, netting 15 goals in just 19 Czech First League games, culminating in his call-up to the national side for Euro 2020.
Already off the mark this term, netting in his side’s 5-0 win over Liberec on Saturday, Hlozek will be determined to carry that form over to the Champions League where, one would imagine, he will be competing in for years to come, given his evident talent and burgeoning reputation. A clinical sharpshooter, whose maturity and intelligence up front certainly belies his tender years, Hlozek could have a huge say in which way this contest swings.
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