Sparta Prague vs Dinamo ZagrebUEFA Europa League, KO: 18:00 Aug 31, 2023, epet Arena
Sparta Prague host Dinamo Zagreb in their UEFA Europa League playoff second leg as they look to overturn a first leg deficit. Both teams favour an attacking style of play and with neither side particularly convincing at the back, goals are expected here.
Sparta Prague will be disappointed to have come away from Zagreb empty-handed after taking the lead in the first leg. They failed to build on a first half penalty from Ladislav Krejci and were pegged back before the break before conceding two more goals in the second period.
While manager Brian Priske will consider that result a minor blip, Sparta Prague have not been particularly convincing in recent weeks. They are winless in three of their last four matches across all competitions, conceding eight goals in that run.
One thing that will give Sparta Prague confidence heading into Thursday’s clash is their recent home record having won three of their last four matches at epet Arena. They have scored 13 goals in that run but have been breached five times along the way.
It was a fine performance from Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg as they showed great character to come from behind to secure the win. Having conceded in the first half, Dario Spikic levelled matters before the break while Dino Peric and Luca Ivanusec added further goals in the second period.
Dinamo Zagreb have been in good form lately, suffering just one defeat in their last eight matches across all competitions. Sergej Jakirovic’s men have won the last two in that run and travel to Prague off the back of a 2-1 victory over Rijeka in an HNL fixture last weekend.
The Croatian side have also shown some quality on their recent travels and are unbeaten in their last nine away matches across all competitions. However, they have been held four times in that run, including a 2-2 draw at AEK Athens in their last Champions League qualifier before dropping into the Europa League.
How the bookies view it
Sparta Prague have the upper hand among the bookies and are priced at evens with William Hill to secure the win. A victory for Dinamo Zagreb us valued at 3/1 with Unibet while a draw is set at odds of 13/5 with Paddy Power.
Head to head
There had been three previous draws between Sparta Prague and Dinamo Zagreb prior to last week’s first leg. The most recent fixture was a friendly in July which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Players to watch
Jan Kuchta had a quiet outing for Sparta Prague in the first leg and will be keen to get back among the goals. The striker could be worth keeping an eye on and is priced at 7/5 by bet365 to score anytime on Thursday.
Dinamo Zagreb have already shown their attacking quality in the first leg, although Bruno Petkovic was not on target. The striker should continue to lead the line on Thursday and is priced at 5/2 by bet365 to get on the score sheet.
Anything else catch the eye?
There is attacking quality on both sides and with neither defence particularly convincing, there are likely to be goals on Thursday. There were over 3.5 goals in the first leg and a repeat is priced at 13/5 by Paddy Power, over 2.5 goals is priced at 19/20 with Unibet while bet365 is offering 4/5 on both teams to score.
Both teams played out a halftime draw in the first leg and a similar outcome can be considered at 6/5 with Paddy Power.
This UEFA Europa League match between Sparta Prague and Dinamo Zagreb will be played on Aug 31, 2023 and kick off at 18:00. Check below for our tipsters best Sparta Prague vs Dinamo Zagreb prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.