Rangers vs Slavia Prague: Europa League preview, team news, stats, kick-off time

Rangers without Ryan Jack for Thursday’s Europa League second leg with Slavia Prague; follow with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms

Wednesday 17 March 2021 17:20, UK

Team news and stats ahead of Rangers vs Slavia Prague in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday; Kick-off at 8pm.

Team news

Ryan Jack will be absent again for Rangers as he sits out their Europa League last-16 second-leg clash with Slavia Prague.

The Scotland midfielder was expected to shrug off a calf complaint but Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard has confirmed he is not in contention to face the Czech champions and may also be a doubt for Sunday’s Old Firm clash at Celtic Park.

Skipper James Tavernier (knee) is still out along with long-term victim Nikola Katic (knee), while Jermain Defoe has not been named in Gers’ European squad. Leon Balogun, however, returns from suspension.

Slavia Prague are waiting on a late fitness test on winger Peter Olayinka.

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Striker Jan Kuchta is expected to return to the Slavia starting line-up having sat out the weekend victory at Mlada Boleslav.

Can Rangers replicate domestic success?

Having sewn up the domestic title, Rangers have the chance to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League for the first time since they lost to Zenit St Petersburg in the final in 2008.

Steven Gerrard’s side have an important away goal but will be wary of what Slavia Prague did to Leicester in the previous round, drawing 0-0 at home but then winning 2-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Rangers hold the advantage courtesy of Filip Helander’s away goal in last week’s 1-1 draw at the Eden Arena but defender Borna Barisic, midfielder Glen Kamara and striker Kemar Roofe are walking a disciplinary tightrope, with all in danger of missing the first leg of a potential quarter-final tie should they pick up another booking.

  • Europa League news | Fixtures

How to follow

Follow Rangers vs Slavia Prague with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.

Opta stats

  • In the UEFA Cup/Europa League, Rangers have progressed from seven of their last eight knockout ties when avoiding defeat in the first leg. They were eliminated by PSV in the Last 16 in 2010-11, however, despite drawing away from home in the first leg.
  • Rangers have won each of their three previous home matches against Czech opposition in European competition, most recently against Viktoria Zizkov in the UEFA Cup in October 2002.
  • Slavia Prague have lost each of their previous two away matches in European competition against Scottish opponents, both in the UEFA Cup against St. Mirren (1985-86) and Hearts (1992-93).
  • Rangers have only lost once across their last 23 home matches in European competition (W16 D6), with that defeat coming against Bayer Leverkusen at this stage of this competition last season.
  • Should Rangers progress from this tie, Steven Gerrard will be the third English manager to reach the quarter-finals and beyond in the UEFA Europa League, after Roy Hodgson in 2009-10 with Fulham and Alan Pardew in 2012-13 with Newcastle United. The last English manager to reach the quarter-finals of UEFA Europa League or UEFA Cup with a non-English side was Roy Hodgson with Inter Milan in 1996-97, who went on to finish as runners-up.

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