Prague football teams to host Liverpool, AC Milan in Europa League

Sparta Prague will meet Liverpool and Slavia Prague will face Milan as the Czech capital prepares for some major Europa League football matches in March. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.02.2024 10:07:00 (updated on 29.02.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Europa League Round of 16 draws have set the stage for two titanic clashes in Prague as giants of European football prepare to descend upon the Czech capital. Sparta Prague finds themselves pitted against Liverpool, while Slavia Prague braces for a showdown against AC Milan.

These draws marks a momentous occasion for Czech football, promising tense encounters in Prague next month. Sparta will host Liverpool at Letná Stadium on March 7 before heading to England on March 14, while Slavia will play in Milan on March 7 before hosting the Italian team at Eden Arena on March 14.

Former Irish footballer John O'Shea pulled Sparta Prague as the very first name during the draw ceremony on Friday, and quickly matched the team against Liverpool. It's one of the toughest possible matches for the Czech team, but a desired one.

"I wanted Liverpool just like most of the guys on the team," Spartan defender Martin Vitík told local journalists. "We know it will be a big challenge, but that's why we play football. So that we can measure ourselves against such opponents."

For Sparta, the matchup with Liverpool evokes memories of their previous encounter in 2011, where they narrowly fell to the English opponents in the Europa League knockout phase. Facing the current Premier League leaders presents a daunting task. Liverpool, though, isn't underestimating their rivals.

"Sparta Prague earned their place in the last 16 with a sensational game and result against Galatasaray. I have no doubt it was a special night for them and now they will want to continue their run," said Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp after the draw.

"There is not too much time before we meet, but hopefully we can arrive there in a good condition because that is exactly what we will need. The Czech league tells us what a good season Sparta are having – I am pretty sure they have lost only once – so we will have to be ready."

Slavia Prague, meanwhile, had to wait patiently before for the end of the draw before learning they would take on AC Milan, a team with a rich history in European football. The Italian giants, currently competing for the top spot in Serie A, have a wealth of talent and experience.

"We will face a very difficult opponent who has a lot of star players," Slavia defender David Zima noted. “On the other hand, I don't think they're invincible. I expect good matches, hopefully with a happy ending for us."

Both Prague clubs are fully aware of the magnitude of the challenge but are determined to put up a fight. The city of Prague will be in the spotlight for football drama next month as Sparta and Slavia look to upset the odds and make their mark on the European stage.

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