Czech Republic youngster Adam Hlozek will miss Thursday night’s clash with Celtic at Parkhead, according to Czech outlet iSport.
iSport reports that Hlozek has picked up a foot injury that could leave the centre-forward out for several months – which would potentially leave him out of the group stage altogether.
The source, however, hasn’t confirmed that will be the case. But they have reported that Hlozek will definitely miss Thursday’s crunch clash in Glasgow.
In his two European matches so far, Hlozek has managed a goal and an assist. His form overall this term has been even more impressive, however, with four goals and six assists in only 11 appearances in all competitions (Transfermarkt).
The young hotshot, aged only 18, has directly contributed to a goal in all but one of the club’s seven matches he’s been involved in this term. Hlozek was also courted three years ago by both Bayern Munich and Arsenal – but he rejected both of their offers to make a go of it in Prague (Goal).
A blow for the Czechs in a must-win game
The figures Hlozek has put in this season means he’s contributed to the highest amount of goals directly this season, but he still isn’t the club’s top goalscorer.
That honour belongs to Lukas Julis, who has six in nine games this season. He looks likely to lead the line at Celtic Park with Hlozek out, and will be looking for his first goal in the competition this season. So far, Julis has drawn blanks against both Lille and Milan respectively.
iSport has stated that Hlozek is still to undergo further medical examinations. However, if the injury is as bad as is feared in their report, then the Czech youngster – already with two caps at senior level to his name – looks extremely likely to miss the return game in Prague at the end of the month too.
Whilst we always want to be coming up against the best players possible in the competition, Celtic are at a stage just now where they’ll take any advantage they can get. You won’t find many tears at Parkhead if Prague are missing a key player or two heading into Thursday night.
Regardless, we’ve been here before. You only need to look at last season when Copenhagen sold their top scorer, Pieros Sotiriou, just 48 hours before they faced us in the Europa League last-32. They still managed to bag four goals over the course of the two legs to knock us out.
So Neil Lennon will be wary of the threat Julis and co will provide. But even so, Sparta will be disappointed that their most exciting young talent is missing such a huge fixture.