June 24, 2021

Slavia Prague vs Rangers preview: Jack still sidelined

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Team news and stats ahead of Slavia Prague vs Rangers in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday; kick-off 5.55pm.

Team news

Steven Gerrard has decided not to risk Ryan Jack ahead of Rangers’ opening clash with Europa League last-16 opponents Slavia Prague on Thursday.

The Scotland midfielder has shrugged off a calf complaint but Ibrox boss Gerrard has decided to keep back Jack for the second leg at Ibrox next week.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 23: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard during a Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Ross County at Ibrox, on January 23, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group) 0:34
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard says he is ‘well aware’ of Slavia Prague’s quality ahead of facing the Czech side who knocked Leicester of the Europa League in the previous round of 32

Skipper James Tavernier (knee) is still out along with long-term victim Nikola Katic (knee), the suspended Leon Balogun and ineligible Jermain Defoe but Kemar Roofe does return from a calf complaint.

Both the former Leeds striker and midfielder Glen Kamara are just one yellow card away from a ban.

How to follow

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

Opta stats

Rangers fans - Ibrox Stadium
Rangers fans celebrate outside of the Ibrox Stadium after Rangers win the Scottish Premiership title. Picture date: Sunday March 7, 2021. 0:57
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says his Scottish Premiership title win ‘is not about making up’ for missing out on winning the league as a player with Liverpool

  • This will be Rangers’ first ever meeting with Slavia Prague in European competition; they last faced Czech opposition in the 2002-03 UEFA Cup first round, going out on away goals to Viktoria Zizkov.
  • Despite winning all three of their home games against Czech opponents in European competition, Rangers have been eliminated in each such tie – to Dukla Prague in the 1981-82 Cup Winners’ Cup, Sparta Prague in the 1991-92 European Cup and Viktoria Zizkov in the 2002-03 UEFA Cup.
  • Rangers will be the third Scottish club to face Slavia Prague in major European competition; the previous two both progressed – St Mirren in the 1985-86 UEFA Cup first round and Hearts in the 1992-93 UEFA Cup first round.
  • Slavia Prague have only lost one of their last 10 home matches in the UEFA Europa League (W6 D3), a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea in a quarter-final match in April 2019.
  • Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos has been directly involved in 15 goals (nine goals & six assists) in 17 UEFA Europa League appearances since the start of last season, the most of any player; this season alone the Colombian has three goals and five assists in eight matches.