AC Sparta Praha

Watch out for set pieces!

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18. 8. 2016 | 11:40 back to news

Zdeněk Ščasný had a lot of time to study our Thursday’s opponents and get to know them perfectly. Now he believes his team will put on a performance similar to the one on the weekend against Bohemians. “That’s a way to a good result in Denmark,” he says.

It's said that this is the biggest match of the season. Is that correct?

Yes, it is. We have failed in the Champions League qualification and now we want to get to the Europa League. Right before the draw, I said that no matter which opponent we get, we would still have to make it. In this case, even though I have a lot of respect to our opponents, we need to accept we are the favorites.

Are we, really?

You should never underestimate anyone. See, they finished second in the Danish top division last year, among other quality teams. They rely on their toughness, set pieces, extremely physical play, or long throw-ins. However, we should make it this time. If our attitude is right and we put on the performance we want, we must be the better side.

The pitch in Haderslev is quite small. Is there any way how to prepare the team for that?

It’s difficult to do that in any other way than theory, the important things have to happen on the pitch. SønderjyskE are dangerous with their free kicks. Václav Kadlec told me they had an easy 2-0 lead, but then lost 2-3 after three free kicks. I also remember their match against Copenhagen. It looked like an easy win for the opposition, but then SønderjyskE got a 1-1 draw and could even win. We need to make sure we prepare ourselves the best way possible, be strong in individual challenges and have a good possession. If we give them a lot of free kicks, if will be really hard for us.

It looks like the first leg is the key to advancing, SønderjyskE could lose their main advantage, when playing away from home…

They managed to win both in Poland and Norway, though. However, I think our style of play at home could be a problem for them, so we need to get the best possible result here in Denmark.

Are there any significant individualities in SønderjyskE squad?

They don’t actually rely on individualities, they present themselves with a quality team play. Maybe Bechmann, who has some Bundesliga past, or Uhre, who’s his substitute – or they can even play together. Sparta fans can also remember Kroon, who played for Malmö in the past. However, more than individualities, we need to prepare for a good teamwork.

How important was the weekend’s match against Bohemians? Small stadium, very physical play by the opposition…

Most importantly, I’m happy we got a good result, it’s always a struggle at Bohemians. But if we’ll play the same way, it could be way to a good result here in Denmark as well.

What’s the health situation in our squad ahead of Thursday’s match?

It’s pretty much the same as on the weekend. Marek Matějovský is missing, he just started with a light training. On the other side, Karavaev is available. Apart from that, we are complete.



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