Lavicka aware of Bridge challenge
Vitezslav Lavicka is well aware of the task facing Sparta Prague in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea head into Thursday night's game with a 1-0 advantage from last week's match in the Czech Republic. With an important Premier League trip to Manchester City ahead of them this weekend, interim manager Rafael Benitez has revealed he will rest Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic at Stamford Bridge. That is something Lavicka hopes will play into Sparta's hands as they look to progress at the expense of the west Londoners. "We expect that Chelsea will play the best they can to win," he said. "We are coming here 1-0 down, which makes it a difficult situation for us but we still have a clear intention to play our best and try to surprise tomorrow. "It is going to be a tough, tough game for us but we have a clear intention to do our best. We will try to qualify, which is what we want." More than 3,000 visiting fans are expected at Stamford Bridge for a game that Lavicka knows Chelsea would rather not be playing. Nine months on from winning the Champions League, the Blues are having to play Europa League football after only finishing third in their group. "That's football. It is very difficult for every team to keep the same level during a long-term period," Lavicka said. "We know they are disappointed not to continue on in the Champions League this season, but Chelsea have said before they have a clear target to win the Europa League. We expect a tough opponent tomorrow." Sparta will be without midfielder Josef Husbauer tomorrow through illness, while former Chelsea man Jiri Jarosik has also been ruled out. With a lack of options in the central midfield, Lavicka may switch to a 4-4-2 formation at Stamford Bridge, with Leony Kweuke and David Lafata in attack.
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