By Nick Carey.
Fresh from their victory over the Croatian team Osijek in the third round of the UEFA Cup, Slavia Prague are looking forward to the fourth round and believe they have good reason to be optimistic at this point. The draw for the fourth-round matches, which took place in Nyon in Switzerland on Wednesday, pairs Slavia up against German side FC Kaiserslautern, and the first leg will be held at the Strahov stadium in Prague on February 15th.
Slavia Prague believe they have a good chance of beating FC Kaiserslautern and progressing on to the quarter finals. If they do make it, they will face the winner of the fourth-round matches between Dutch side PSV Eindhoven and Italian side AC Parma.
Slavia Prague will have to hope, however, that they will continue to do well in the UEFA Cup, as success not only continues to elude them on the home front, it seems to have gotten clean away. Stuck back in eighth place in the first division table, Slavia faced second-placed Olomouc in a Gambrinus league match on Monday, and really needed to pull out all the stops if they wanted to make up some of the point difference between them and table leaders and arch-rivals Sparta Prague.
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. Better than losing, of course, but small comfort for Slavia Prague, who stay in eighth place, a full nineteen points behind Sparta Prague. They do have one game in hand, but they really have to start off the second half of the season in flying style if they want to get anywhere near Sparta and the league title.
Click here for the Gambrinus League table.
Elsewhere on the football front, and it was bad news for both Lazio Roma and Czech player Pavel Nedved, who is the leading light in the Czech Republic's national team. Lazio were knocked out of the Italian Cup on Tuesday, when the club was defeated 4-1 by Udinese. Pavel Nedved's woes were doubled, as he was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card in the dying minutes of the game.
Away from football now, but staying with bad boys, and another Nedved to boot, New York Rangers centre Petr Nedved was suspended for three games by the NHL for high-sticking Boston Bruins' centre Joe Thornton last Saturday.
The incident occurred in the first period of the game. Thornton was also penalized for high-sticking, but Nedved retaliated with a baseball-bat-like swing to Thornton's neck, resulting in the disciplinary action.
Nedved, the centre of New York's Czech line with wingers Radek Dvorak and Jan Hlavac, is fourth on the team with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points.