CECH'S LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Chelsea's game against Sparta Prague in the Europa League this week affords Petr Cech the opportunity to return to one of his former clubs and a city he knows well.

He was born in Plzen but played in the Czech capital city during the 2001/02 campaign, and the 31-year-old believes our travelling fans have plenty to look forward to ahead of the match.

'If you go to Old Town Square, from there you are within walking distance of bars, restaurants, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and the national theatre,' he tells the official Chelsea website.

'That is a reference point of Prague from where you can get to most places in three to five minutes by car or 10 minutes on foot.

'The two main tourist attractions are the Charles Bridge, and from there you can walk to Prague Castle. There is also a fantastic view from that particular area and it's nice to have lunch by the river there, or take a boat trip, although at this time of year it's probably a bit too cold.

'Around the Old Town Square there are small streets where you can buy souvenirs, plus there are also some pubs and coffee shops, so that's a nice area to go to if you just want to sit down and relax for a while.

'From there you are very close to the stadium as well, it's just on the other side of the river.'

While the Blues have had to contend with a schedule which has seen us play 13 matches since Christmas, by contrast our opponents have recently enjoyed a warm-weather training camp.

Cech believes Sparta Prague have more than enough quality to cause us problems, and feels we will need to keep a close eye on two of their most recent additions.

'The game against us will be their first competitive match since December,' says the Czech player of the year.

'They recently signed David Lafata, who has been the top scorer in the Czech Republic for the past two seasons, as well as Roman Bednar, who used to play for West Bromwich Albion.

'They will have options, and they are a team with a good blend of young, hungry players and experienced ones.

'For them, it will be the biggest game of their careers, so that's a danger because they will want to show they can do well against us.'

The last few tickets are still available for next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge.