FC Schalke 04 continue their campaign to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League as they travel to AC Sparta Praha on Thursday evening (kick-off 21:05CET/20:05GMT).

The Royal Blues are currently unbeaten in Group K, with seven points from their first three matches. Another victory in the Czech Republic would leave them with one foot in the knockout rounds.

Top facts

  • Schalke have won their last three away games in UEFA competition.
  • Sparta have lost only one of their last 19 home games in the Europa League (a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea FC in the 2012/13 round of 32).
  • Schalke's record against Czech opposition reads: W6, D3, L2.
  • The Royal Blues have reached the round of 32 in two of their previous three Europa League/UEFA Cup group stage campaigns.
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar needs one more goal to reach 50 goals in UEFA competition. The Dutchman is the second highest goalscorer in UEFA Cup/Europa League history on 33 goals, seven behind Henrik Larsson.
  • The Dutchman's strike partner, Franco Di Santo, is the top scorer in this season’s group stage with four goals.
  • Sparta beat Schalke 4-2 on aggregate in the last eight of the 1972/73 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Possible line-ups

Sparta: Bicik - Marecek, Brabec, Nhamoinesu, Frydek - Jiracek, Dockal, Matejovsky - Konate, Krejci, Fatai

Schalke: Fährmann - Junior Caicara, Matip, Ayhan, Kolasinac - Meyer, Geis, Höjbjerg, Goretzka – Di Santo, Huntelaar