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Rostov vs Sparta Prague Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews

  • 18:00
  • Expired
  • Stadion Olimp 2
Rostov
Sparta Prague

Tip Reasoning

Rostov’s excellent domestic season last season saw them qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history. Considering they have only been involved in one major European competition before – The 2014/15 Europa League – this is a fantastic achievement for them.

Many were expecting somewhat of a bloodbath from the newbies of the competition, but they eliminated both Anderlecht and Ajax in the qualification rounds and put in a more than respectable performance in a difficult Champions League group.

They finished the campaign with five points from their six games, including two draws against bottom placed finishers PSV and an historic 3-2 win at home to Bayern Munich. For that performance alone they deserve a spot in the Europa League knockout stages. They didn’t exactly disgrace themselves in two narrow defeats to Atletico Madrid either.

Sparta Prague were relegated to the Europa League from before the group stages thanks to a 3rd round elimination at the hands of Steaua Bucharest, but they have made the most of their time in the tournament. They won four of their six group games to finish top of the group, four points ahead of Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Southampton below them.

The Czech outfit are still in their domestic winter break, as are Rostov. They resume domestic action in under a week, but both sides will be lacking a bit of match practise ahead of this clash.

The visitors are definitely the more experienced in these situations, and they have won six of their last eight games in all competitions. The final one of these was a 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan in their final group game though, and away from home they have only won three of their last ten games in all competitions. This includes two defeats in the Europa League too.

Rostov aren’t having the best of domestic seasons, but in Europe they have been very promising throughout the season and at home they have been incredibly difficult to beat across the board. Their only competitive loss in the past 18 months came against Atletico Madrid in October, and this season they have won nine of their 14 home games.

I think Rostov have a real chance of getting a first leg advantage here. They performed exceptionally well at home in the Champions League group stages against teams much better than Sparta Prague, so odds of 4/5 for a home win look good value. I’m also backing a 2-1 correct score predictions at 8/1.

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