Rangers vs Sparta Prague H2H – Can the amazing Tavernier make the difference again?

Rangers welcome Sparta Prague to Ibrox Stadium on Thursday night in what could be a make or break clash for both sides. Both sides sit on four points in Group C of the Europa League, a win in this 8pm kickoff could all but secure qualification for either side.

Rangers vs Sparta Prague H2H Record

The all-time record between these two European regulars is delicately poised, and often decided by the finest of margins.

  • Rangers wins: 2
  • Draws: 1
  • Sparta Prague wins: 2

Encouragingly for Rangers, there is also a very strong home bias in this game. That was until two weeks ago, when Rangers ground out a draw in Prague, the home side on the day had won all four prior encounters.

James Tavernier of Rangers scores
Rangers are on a high after reaching the Viaplay Cup final. (Credit: Jamie Johnston/Focus Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

The last five Rangers vs Sparta Prague H2Hs

Now let’s dive into all five past Rangers vs Sparta Prague matchups.

Sparta Prague 1-0 Rangers – 18th September 1991

The Czechs narrowly defeated a Rangers side featuring beloved striker Ally McCoist and defensive stalwart Scott Nisbet 1-0, thanks to a goal from former Schalke man Jiri Nemec. 

This game took place in the final years of the old European Cup format, which added extra jeopardy. Simply put, if Rangers couldn’t recover at Ibrox, their European adventures would be over before they even reached the group stage.

Rangers 2-1 Sparta Prague (AET) – 10th October 1991

Three weeks later, Sparta came to Glasgow to defend their narrow lead at Ibrox. Stuart McCall struck early in the second half to draw Rangers level and take the tie to extra time. The Scotsman then scored a superb flying volley to take the lead after superb work from John Spencer out wide. 

But in the cruellest of fashions, McCall then turned the ball into his own net to send Sparta through on away goals.

AC Sparta Praha fans vs Rangers
The reverse clash of this UEL group stage brought no goals but plenty of passion. (CTK Photo/Michal Kamaryt) – Photo by Icon sport

Sparta Prague 1-0 Rangers – 30th September 2021

Rangers would have to wait thirty years to avenge the sickening fate of McCall, as they drew Sparta in the Europa League group stage. At the first time of asking, however, things did not go to plan. Defensive midfielder Glen Kamara saw red and David Hancko’s towering header won the day for the Czech side.

Rangers 2-0 Sparta Prague – 25th November 2021

Having lost in Prague, it looked like deja vu for Rangers. Later in the campaign, however, Rangers would finally beat Sparta without any bittersweet aftertaste, as two goals from Colombian forward Alfredo Morelos dumped Sparta out at the group stage.

This game was one of then-manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first big wins as Rangers boss, and it helped kickstart a famous run that took them all the way to the Europa League final, defeating the likes of RB Leipzig along the way.

Sparta Prague 0-0 Rangers – 26th October 2023

Just two weeks ago, Sparta welcomed Rangers to Prague for a third time. It was a tough test as expected, but thanks to some excellent saves from goalkeeper Jack Butland, they returned to Ibrox with a point. 

Tavernier golf swing celebration
(Photo by Raymond Davies/Sportpix/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Rangers vs Sparta Prague H2H – Potential MVP

James Tavernier

There likely isn’t a side in Europe more reliant on a full-back for goals and creativity as Rangers are on James Tavernier. The 32-year-old English right-back has an astonishing record since heading north of the border from Wigan in 2015. 

He has made 334 appearances for Rangers, scoring 89 goals and assisting a further 91. He scores or assists at a rate of 0.55 per game. For reference, Liverpool’s own maestro right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold has a rate of 0.34.

Tavernier’s ability to score from distance, reliably convert from the penalty spot and put the ball into dangerous areas from wide or set pieces could provide the moment of quality Rangers need to win here.

Another low-scoring encounter imminent?

None of the three Rangers vs Sparta Prague H2Hs held this century have produced more than two total match goals. As such, we expect another tight game, but Rangers are favourites to eke out a victory over a side who are becoming a familiar opponent.

See also: Rangers vs Sparta Prague odds and tips

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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.