Sparta Prague star fears Rangers game turns into Czech revenge mission
Sparta Prague star David Pavelka is concerned the Rangers game could turn into a campaign of revenge against the Czechs.
Rangers will travel to the Czech capital later this month to face Pavel Vrba’s side for the second game of their Europa League group stage campaign.
The last time Steven Gerrard’s men faced a Czech side was in the last 32 games of last season against Sparta rivals Slavia, a game which saw Ondrej Kudela banned for 10 appearances by UEFA. for racist abuse of Ibrox star Glen Kamara.
As a result, Sparta midfielder Pavelka has expressed fears that their game against Rangers later this month could turn into a grudge match between the two teams.
Glen Kamara’s lawyer has previously warned that Rangers face a “real risk to life” ahead of the club’s Europa League clash with Sparta Prague.
Aamer Anwar has said he is concerned that players and fans will be targeted by violent ultras when they visit the Czech capital later this month.
Speaking about their previous games against a Scottish side, Pavelka said: “I don’t expect Rangers to be maybe as physical against us as they were against Slavia, but this is how ‘they play football.
“The question is whether they will still have resentment against Czech football and if they do, how do we deal with it.
“I would like all of this to be put aside and just to focus on the football, but the problem is that what happened will be ingrained in them and they will want revenge and give it back to us.”
Sparta beat Celtic 8-2 overall in the competition last season.
Pavelka said: “We beat Celtic 4-1 twice last season and I expect Rangers to be a similar opponent to Celtic.
“Celtic were a team that we managed to beat easily on two occasions, but the question against Rangers is how much the two teams have changed this summer.
“We treat our opponents with respect. The Rangers will be strong and they have reached this stage of the competition, so they will be a good team.
“I look forward to the atmosphere on these grounds.
“I saw Jablonec play Celtic recently and I was very jealous that they played in such a brilliant atmosphere.”