HV71 vs Sparta Prague
C Competition: Champions Hockey League
Date: 8th November 2016
Kick-off: 19:30 CET
A masterclass by CHL Top Scorer Martin Thornberg helped HV71 to a 4-2 win in Prague last week and as such the Swedes have a healthy two-goal advantage as they take to home ice against Sparta.
For 40 minutes last week HV71 were playing a different game to Sparta, who managed to rally in the final period – they’ll take it as a positive, but HV71 will say that had their foot off the gas at 4-1 up. The Swedes comfortably came through the group stage over Salzburg and Sheffield – although they did make a meal of the home game against the Steelers, needing late goals to win it. From there it was home & away wins over Lukko Rauma, and as a Top 5 side in the SHL they’ve had a decent domestic start as well.
Sparta’s home loss wasn’t really a surprise considering their drop off in form in the Extraliga in the days leading up to the CHL. Including the European game they’ve lost three straight now, with only one win in their last five overall.
After scrapping past Sheffield at home, HV71 actually lost on their own ice to Salzburg – however they were already guaranteed qualification by that time. They also blanked Lukko Rauma 2-0 in the last round, at have won 5/7 at home in the SHL so far too. To date the Jonkoping side have scored an average of 2,7 goals a game in the CHL at home, while conceding 1,7.
The Czechs have fallen at this stage of the CHL in each of the past two seasons, and look like they will again unless they can turn it around. They’ll take heart however form having won in Sweden this year already over Farjestad (although in overtime), and form that performance up in Karpat in the last round. They have averaged 3,7 goals a game on the road in the CHL, giving up just over 1 a game, but 7 of those goals for came against Cracovia who frankly weren’t very good.
HV71 vs Sparta Prague: Head-to-Head
Sparta have not beaten HV71 in four attempts now – last week’s CHL game, and three in the European Trophy.
HV71 vs Sparta Prague: Prediction
Home win looks almost a given really, and with Sparta needing to score two they’ll have to attack more leaving themselves exposed at the back.
HV71 vs Sparta Prague: Tips
- Over 5.5 goals at 2.1
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