Rangers have been handed a major Europa League boost with Sparta Prague reportedly rocked by an injury crisis ahead of Thursday evening’s fixture at the Letna Stadium [Daily Record].
The Gers are travelling to the Czech capital in search of points after their opening matchday defeat to Lyon at Ibrox.
Sparta will be keen to make use of home advantage, though, particularly as they’ve exploited an exception to a UEFA ruling to ensure the match won’t take place behind closed doors.
The Gers will be without several likely starters with Filip Helander, Ryan Jack and Ryan Kent all sidelined, but the Daily Record reports that their opponents’ injury list is much longer.
According to the report, Sparta could be without as many as eight first-team players.
Amongst those allegedly set to miss the contest are experienced Czech Republic international winger Ladislav Krejci and midfielder Filip Souček.
Perhaps most importantly, though, it’s asserted that dangerous striker Lukas Julis is also sidelined.
Julis only managed three appearances this season before picking up a groin injury that has seen him miss Sparta’s last seven league fixtures.
The 26-year-old’s absence has been a big blow for manager Pavel Vrba, given that he scored 17 goals last season including five in two Europa League appearances against Celtic.
It’ll still be difficult for Rangers to get a positive result but most fans will no doubt feel more confident knowing that the hosts are set to be without a number of important players.
In other news, a thriving player Rangers allowed to leave in January scored in a top-flight ‘big two’ derby win on Tuesday night.