APOEL seek European revival against Sparta Prague
Cyprus champions APOEL will be seeking to revive their hopes for qualification to the next round of the Europa League when they travel to the Czech Republic to face Sparta Prague on thursday evening.
Having lost their first game in the group stages of the Europa League at home 3-0 to a dominant Schalke side, APOEL have no choice but to put in a performance against a Sparta Prague side who will be playing in front of 10,000 passionate Czech supporters.
Temuri Ketsbaia in his pre-match press conference admitted that all games are important in these type of competitions but he believes that every team in the group will fight for qualification until the last game of the group stages.
Ketsbaia added: “We are ready for this game, definitely it will be difficult away from home and we also have players that wont play against Sparta Prague but iam certain we can get a result here on Thursday night.
Sparta are a very good team they score a lot of goals but at the same time they concede goals and thats where we have to capitalise by not making mistakes and punishing our opponents on the break” the APOEL manager said.
APOEL midfielder Kostakis Artymatas representing the players emphasised the importance of Thursdays nights clash for his teams future in the group stages of the Europa League. Artymatas said: “ We will give it our all to leave the Czech Republic with a good result which will keep our hopes alive in Europe. A result is crucial for the remaining games so we will do our best for the team, the fans and the manager.
The last time the two teams faced each other was 11 years ago when APOEL and Sparta Prague drew 2-2 at the GSP stadium in Nicosia and the Czechs won the second leg 2-1 to win on aggregate 4-3 and go through to the next round.
Sparta Prague vs APOEL will start at 8pm from the Generali Arena in Prague.
In the other game of group K Schalke will attempt to make it two wins on the bounce against tough Greek side Asteras Tripolis.
FC Schalke 04 3
AC Sparta Prague 1
Asteras Tripolis FC 1
APOEL FC 0