Repka confident of Reds shock
Sparta Prague captain Tomas Repka believes his side will not be overawed against Liverpool.
Last Updated: 17/02/11 12:05pm
Sparta Prague captain Tomas Repka believes his side will not be overawed against a Liverpool outfit who have decreased in stature since his time in England.
The 37-year-old defender spent five years in the Premier League with West Ham and has yet to come out on top against the Reds - drawing once and losing three times.
Kenny Dalglish's men face a tricky tie in the Czech Republic for the Europa League last 32 clash between the two teams, with Liverpool currently enjoying a six-match unbeaten run.
Repka is disappointed that he will not face the challenge of Fernando Torres up front following his switch to Chelsea, but the experienced stopper is confident of an upset.
"Although they are pretty strong, when I was there (England) Liverpool not only were they strong but they appeared in the Champions League and the number of big names was larger than today," he said.
"Our young players won't be overawed. Although there is some respect for the opposition - which they have earned - I don't think there is too much time for much humility or being scared.
"I was looking forward to a confrontation with Torres but it will be okay. I hope to improve my record against Liverpool.
"We are going into it full-bloodedly and there is no space for fear. You don't play such kind of game every day, so we want to enjoy it.
"We must equal them in organisation of play, resistance and fighting spirit. Other important attributes will be our determination and concentration. Only with these attributes can we succeed."
Sparta coach Jozef Chovanec admits his side are underdogs for the two-legged tie, and even without the injured Steven Gerrard or defender Daniel Agger, he claims the Merseysiders are still extremely dangerous.
"Liverpool are a strong side and I don't think the absence of one player can have an impact on the team," he remarked.
"We knew from the beginning that Liverpool were definitely one of the strongest sides we could end up with.
"We are facing very tough opposition indeed but we purposely chose good teams in our preparations to make it as competitive as possible.
"We are looking forward to tomorrow's match very much because we worked hard to get as far as this knockout stage."