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After our momentous victory against Fulham the squad travel to the Czech Republic for the first leg of our Champions League qualifier. Last season it was quite a straight forward passage into the group phase, with Fabregas’ two goals in the first leg putting the tie beyond doubt in a 3-0 away victory. Sparta Prague aren’t a bad side but you’d have to hope we’ll have enough to get through.

Our first game of the season that’s on Setanta. That’ll be me off to the pub then.

History

We’ve drawn Sparta Prague twice before, in the group stages of the Champions League. In the 2005/2006 season we beat them twice en route to the final, and in 2000 we beat them 1-0 away and 4-2 at home. The match in the Czech Republic was memorable in 2005 for this moment of brilliance from that Barca bloke.

Team News

Gilberto won’t be back until September. Adebayor is out for this game. Diaby, Eduardo and Denilson are also out with small ankle injuries. Might be back by the weekend, if not they’ll all definitely be back by the Manchester City game, except Giblet.

It might be possible to see Bendtner come in, But it’s likely we’ll see pretty much the same side that walked out at the Emirates on Sunday. We’ll see.

Subs: Almunia, Senderos, Traore, Hoyte, Song, Walcott, Eboue