It’s fair to say that not all has gone well with Sparta Prague since their 4-1 mauling of Celtic at Parkhead.
The Czech side dominated the Hoops in one of our most embarrassing results ever at Parkhead. Prague had suffered from a host of players being out with Covid and other injuries, with pretty much a second-string taking to the field against the Bhoys. However, we still found ourselves totally outclassed on the night in a shocking performance that reflected woefully on Neil Lennon.
However, it appears that Sparta have indeed come back down to earth with a nasty bang since then. Just days after they beat Celtic, Prague were coming unstuck with a 3-1 defeat at Viktoria Plzen. Given both sides are going for the title, you could understand that one.
But it got even worse yesterday. At home to lowly and winless SK Dynamo, Prague were battered 4-2 after falling behind on three separate occasions. That’s now seven goals conceded in just two games, and manager Vaclav Kotal is flabbergasted as to why that’s been the case.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Kotal said: “The goals we lost were comical. So incredibly cheap. We had a lot of players missing – five or six who could have started. But that’s not an excuse. We have to be better than that. Something went very wrong and the players should realise that.”
Prague still missing some crucial players
It’s fair to say that Prague haven’t had the rub of the green in recent weeks. They’re still without the likes of Adam Hlosek, Libor Kosak, and goalkeeper Dominik Holek respectively.
Of course, when Celtic travel to the Czech Republic, they’ll still be met with a much stronger Sparta side than they faced at Parkhead. Milan Heca, Filip Soucek, Matej Hanousek, and Martin Minchev are all now fit to feature after missing the game in Glasgow.
Celtic will still be wary of Prague’s Lukas Julis too – the 25-year-old front-man who bagged a hat-trick in Glasgow. But so many of these returning players are also still looking to get themselves back up to speed fitness-wise.
Remember, the Czech First League had been put on hold between October 5th and November 8th. Many of their first-team stars will still be looking to hit top gear, but even so, we’re hardly in a position to take anyone lightly.
The horrific sight of Prague scoring goal after goal in Glasgow will take a long time to erase. It was worse than Cluj, Copenhagen, and even Ferencvaros. Seeing a Prague “B” side strut up in Glasgow and do what they wanted was a massive embarrassment for the club. So we’ll hardly be lured into a false sense of security this Thursday night.
If anything, their recent form has only highlighted just how shocking our defeat at Parkhead was. Here’s hoping there’s a hunger in the squad to put things right this time around. Goodness knows we could use it.