Preview: Chelsea vs. Sparta Prague

Oscar scores Chelsea's sixth on December 23, 2012
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to the Europa League clash between Chelsea and Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were not at their best during the opening leg of this tie in the Czech Republic last week, but a strike from Brazilian midfielder Oscar saw the Blues claim an away goal and a 1-0 victory.

With that advantage in mind, interim manager Rafael Benitez has been tipped to make a handful of changes to his lineup.

That could mean that Marko Marin and Ryan Bertrand are both given starting roles at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea can also boast good form at home in European competitions of late, having been unbeaten in the last nine outings at the Bridge. The last team to win in West London in a UEFA tournament was Manchester United back in 2011.

Meanwhile, Sparta have won in England since they overcome Watford back in 1983 - a run that dates back six matches.

Having started the first meeting on the bench, former West Bromwich Albion and Blackpool striker Roman Bednar could be drafted into the starting lineup this time around.

Recent form

Chelsea: DDLWWW

Prague: DDDLWL

Possible starting lineups

Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand; Mikel, Lampard, Ramires; Oscar, Marin, Torres

Prague: Vaclik; Zapotocny, Hybs, Svejdik, Vacha; Matejovsky, Holek, Husbauer, Krejci; Bednar, Kadlec

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Chelsea's Marko Marin in action against Sparta Prague on February 14, 2013
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