Rangers began their Europa League campaign with a 2-0 defeat at home against French giants Lyon earlier this month, with Karl Toko Ekambi’s first-half strike as well as a second-half own goal from James Tavernier helping the visitors claim all three points at Ibrox.
Since that defeat, Steven Gerrard’s side have claimed seven points from a possible nine available in the Scottish Premiership, including a narrow 1-0 victory away against Dundee last weekend.
Joe Aribo’s 16th-minute strike ensured the Gers stay at the of the table, however they were fortunate to have come away with all three points after Jason Cummings had his second-half penalty saved by Jon McLaughlin.
Rangers now turn their attention back to the Europa League, where they face Czech opposition for the second successive year, after losing 3-1 on aggregate against Slavia Prague in a fiery round of 16 clash last season.
The Gers have only lost one of their last nine away matches in the Europa League, winning and drawing four games each, and were unbeaten in all five games on the road throughout last season’s competition.
Success on Thursday will be beneficial for Gerrard’s men if they are to advance to the knockout stages for the third consecutive campaign.
Czech Republic giants Sparta Prague began their Europa League campaign with an uneventful goalless draw against Brondby earlier this month.
The clash in Denmark saw the fewest shots (16) and had the lowest total xG (0.8) of any Europa League fixture in the opening round of this season’s competition.
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Pavel Vrba will have been disappointed not to have come away with all three points against the outsiders in Group A, a team who they were expected to beat.
Sparta Prague have, however, made a solid start to their domestic campaign, winning six and drawing two of their first nine games in the Czech top flight, which sees them four points behind league leaders Viktoria Plzen and just two behind Slavia Prague in second, who they will face this weekend.
The Iron Sparta head into Thursday’s clash after losing two of their last three group-stage matches at home in the Europa League. Prior to this, they were unbeaten in 15 group games on home soil between the 2010-11 and 2016-17 seasons