Celtic’s Europa League opponents Sparta Prague have been accused of having an ‘abysmal’ defensive record ahead of their meeting on Thursday.
Like the Scottish Premiership champions, things have not been going well for the Czech side, who, while second in the table, are going through something of a rough patch.
Last week saw them beaten 4-2 by SK Dynamo, while the week before they fell 3-1 to Viktoria Plzen, results which have seen them getting lots of criticism in their home country.
Yesterday we covered a comment piece from Idnes that labelled the team a ‘disgrace’ and accused those in charge of ‘naivety’.
They’re not the only ones unimpressed, and today it’s iSport’s turn, and they’ve elected to focus on the main problem in the current team; the defence.
They explain that the current reason Slavia Prague are out in front in the title race is that they and the challengers are in ‘completely different defensive worlds’.
While they’ve only conceded two, Sparta Prague have conceded 13 and Victoria Plzen 12. That ‘abysmal difference’ is ‘practically incompatible’ with title ambitions, and iSport have looked at it a little more in-depth ahead of the Celtic match.
In Sparta’s case, a ‘carousel of insane individual mistakes’ seems to be the root cause of the issue.
That was a ‘ghost’ they appeared to have gotten rid of at the end of last season but it is back now and in ‘overwhelming force’.
Those issues came to the fore in their recent defeat to SK Dynamo, where defenders Dominik Plechatý and David Lischka were particularly poor and ‘repeatedly squealed’.
Coach Václav Kotal has also commented on the issue, recently admitting that his team ‘make mistakes you don’t even see as a teenager’.
All of which sounds very encouraging for Celtic on the face of it. After all, what better way to raise spirits at the club than taking advantage of a leaky defence?
With Celtic’s forwards in good form too, there’s no reason they can’t pile on the misery for their opponents when they travel to Celtic Park on Thursday.