Sparta's experience can cause us problems, says Puel

By SFC Media Thu 15 Sep Saints vs Sparta

Claude Puel says Southampton will be coming up against a Sparta Praha side with plenty of European knowhow.

The Czech side visit St Mary’s on Thursday evening, as Saints open their UEFA Europa League campaign looking for their first win of the season.

Having competed in the Champions League and Europa League in recent seasons, Puel is well aware of the experience and understanding Sparta will have of European nights and competitions.

“It’s a team that every season has the possibilities for the Champions League or for the Europa League,” Puel told

“It’s a very good team and they will play very good football. They start from the back on the ground. It’s very interesting to play this team.

“They are a team with good experience and good maturity. They also play good football, so we have to be careful, but we have good players a good team.

“You have the possibilities to win the game in front of our fans, with good quality and good pressing we can do that.

“It’s very interesting for my players to play this game and answer with a good level. We will be ready for the game.”

Saints will need to discover their goalscoring form if they are to come away with all three points, and Puel says it’s down to his whole team to do that - not just the strikers.

“We start to have a good identity now after four games, but it’s important that we find the efficiency on the pitch to score the goals,” Puel added.

“That’s not just our strikers, that’s all of the players in the team. They can also score. It’s the job of all my players in all positions to do that.”