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Southampton defender Yoshida determined to bank winning points at Sparta Prague's expense

  • Southampton travel to Prague for a Europa League match-up against Sparta
  • Saints are in a great position to qualify from group stage but want victory in Czech Republic
  • Defender Yoshida spells out the case for maximum points on Thursday
Maya Yoshida has been a mainstay presence in Claude Puel's Europa League sides. (credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Southampton are in a great position in Group K of the Europa League but defender Maya Yoshida wants the club to wrap up their progression to the knockout stage by triumphing over Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic on Thursday evening.



Currently second in the group table, the Saints are just three points shy from the ten point tally that is usually enough to guarantee progress to the next stage and with seven points on the board and with two games remaining, the St Mary's outfit are in terrific shape to do that.

Their fifth group game, though, is arguably the trickiest of them all as they must oversee Sparta in Prague, where they will have to overcome a hostile outfit against a side determined to cling on to their status as the group leaders.

Yoshida, who has seldom played in the Premier League but is a mainstay member of the Europa League time Claude Puel plays, told the club's official website that the team intend to take maximum points away from Prague in order to alleviate any pressure on the final match-day, against Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

"We are almost through to the next round but these winning points are really important for us," Yoshida said. "We have to make sure we get these points and go through to the next round."

Southampton have already battered Sparta Prague 3-0 just two months ago but since then Sparta have gone on a winning Europa League streak and have a near unbreakable defensive record at home, while the Saints have won just three of their following ten games in all competitions.

Yoshida said: "We already played against [Sparta] at home, so we know about them [but this time] I think it's going to be very, very tough, especially an away game against them. 

"Maybe a different atmosphere in the stadium. We have to be ready for that."  

Southampton take on Sparta Prague at the Stadion Letna on Thursday evening.


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Southampton defender Yoshida determined to bank winning points at Sparta Prague's expense

Southampton are in a great position in Group K of the Europa League but midfielder Maya Yoshida wants the club to wrap up their progression to the knockout stage by triumphing over Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic on Thursday evening.

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