Prague, Czech Republic – Slavia Prague hosts five-time Europa League champions Sevilla tonight in their second leg of their Europa League quarter-finals.
It promises to be a very special night at the Eden Arena after the Czech League leaders clinched a promising 2-2 draw in Spain last week. A win, a goalless draw or 1-1 would take Slavia Prague to its first European quarter-final in nineteen years.
On the other hand, Sevilla, who won the competition three times in a row in 2014, 2015 and 2016, will almost certainly need a win to qualify and continue their quest of a sixth Europa League crown in thirteen years.
The Eden Arena will be packed tonight, reports Radio Praha. We certainly have our tickets.
Sevilla’s Czech international goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík is still uncertain, having come off injured in last week’s energetic first leg which saw Slavia Prague leave with a well-earned draw as they came twice from behind with goals from Alex Král and Slovak player Miroslav Stoch.
Slavia Prague last reached the quarter-finals of what was then called the UEFA Cup in 2000 but lost 4-2 on aggregate to English side Leeds United. The last Czech team to reach that stage of the competition were Slavia Prague’s bitter rivals Sparta in 2016, who lost to Spanish team Villarreal.
In recent years, Slavia Prague has indeed been challenging the rule of Sparta Prague, owned by billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. If Sparta still is the most successful team in Czech First League history, having won more than half of the league titles since 1993, a qualification by Slavia tonight would undoubtedly add fuel to this bitter rivalry.
Kick-off is at 9pm. Game on.