Group B
Sparta Prague v Ajax

Ajax travel to the Czech capital tonight with a much depleted side, as both sides seek to shrug off their recent indifferent league form and secure what will probabaly prove a vital three points.

Captain Julien Escuade is likely to be added to an already extensive inury list that includes fellow defenders Maxwell and Juanfran, as well as precocious young forwards Edgar Manucharyan and Nicoale Mitea.

As such, out of favour midfielder Thomas Galasek could be drafted in as an emergency centre back, mark his first start of the season for Ajax in his native country.

“He is still an important player for us”, remarked coach Danny Blind, “That’s what I told him”.

Sparta, meanwhile, are still unsure as to whether midfielder Martin Hasek will return to full fitness in time to start, and there are also doubts concerning Adam Petros, despite the defender claiming that he is fit to play.

It is thought veteran winger Karel Poborsky is likely to start, despite being demoted to the bench for the club’s 2-0 victory over FC Vysocina over the weekend.

Coach Jaroslav Hebrik claims that the 33 year old was “rested” rather than dropped. “At his age, Karel can’t play every minute of every game”. he said. “So I though it best to bring him on after 65 or 70 minutes.”