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European Football Returns To Leicester As Slavia Prague Visit Filbert Way

Leicester City's penultimate competitive fixture in February - the 37th outing of a relentless 2020/21 season so far - sees Slavia Prague visit Filbert Way in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening.
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The Club's first two-legged European tie in four years – since Atlético Madrid edged City 2-1 on aggregate to reach the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League's last-four – is finely poised at the halfway point.

While James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho all had chances at Sinobo Stadium last Thursday, so too did Peter Olayinka, Lukáš Provod and Abdallah Sima for Červenobílí.

The countdown to the second leg, an 8pm GMT kick-off on Thursday, truly begins on Wednesday as Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers and midfielder Youri Tielemans address the media.

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James Maddison
James Maddison

Leicester and England midfielder James Maddison has an effort at goal for the visitors at Slavia Prague.

City's European squad will also continue their preparations at LCFC Training Ground in Seagrave before, in the afternoon, Jindřich Trpišovský's Czech champions – and current league leaders – land in Leicester for a brief stay in the United Kingdom. 

While last week's trip to Prague was Leicester's first competitive fixture in the Czech Republic, Slavia, on the other hand, will be hoping to improve their overall record in England on Thursday.

Trpišovský's side are without a win in five previous visits to England, losing four and drawing the other, 1-1 at Tottenham Hotspur in 2007/08. The only game outside of London, meanwhile, ended in a 3-0 defeat at Leeds United in the quarter-final first leg of the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup.

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Slavia's last visit to England ended in a 4-3 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge despite a valiant performance in April 2019.

More generally, Slavia have won four of their 10 UEFA ties after drawing at home first and this is the second time in four attempts they have made it through the group stage to the knockout phase.

They arrive in Leicester on the back of a 1-1 draw with FK Teplice in the Czech First League, allowing neighbours Sparta Prague to close the gap to eight points, while City defeated Aston Villa 2-1 in the Premier League.

The Foxes also netted nine goals without reply at home en route to winning Group G before Christmas, including a 4-0 triumph over SC Braga, the Club's biggest-ever European home win.

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Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill

City manager Martin O'Neill after the Club's UEFA Cup exit against Atlético - their last European home defeat - in 1997.

They are also unbeaten in nine European home matches since Martin O'Neill's City were defeated 2-0 by Atlético Madrid at Filbert Street in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round second leg.

That run includes clashes with Red Star Belgrade (2000/01); FC Porto, Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Sevilla and Atlético Madrid (all 2016/17); Zorya Luhansk, SC Braga and AEK Athens (all 2020/21) – seven wins, two draws.

Don't forget to stay tuned to LCFC.com and @LCFC social media throughout Wednesday for updates from a busy day of activity, before live LCFC Radio coverage on Thursday, from 6:30pm, for free!

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