Czech Football League starts after winter break

The Prague teams are all looking forward to getting back on the pitch

The winter break for football is ending this weekend. Despite some snow left on the ground here and there, the time for winter sports is winding down and summer sports are ramping up again. The winter break was 77 days, and it ends on the third weekend of February, just like it did last year.

Six matches are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, and two more for Sunday. Each of the top league’s 16 teams will have 14 matches left in the regular season.

Before the break, FC Viktoria Plzeň was in the lead. SK Slavia Praha was in second place and crosstown rivals AC Sparta Praha were in fifth place. Bohemians Praha 1905 starts after the break in seventh place. FK Dukla Praha is in 10th place.

Slavia will play an away game against FC Vysočina Jihlava at Stadion v Jiráskově ulici at 4:30 pm. It will be televised on ČT2. Currently, Jihlava is at the bottom of the top league, officially known as HET liga. Slavia was the league’s winner last year. But that doesn’t mean an automatic victory for the Prague team. Jihlava has been successful in the past in its home court.

Slavia manager Jindřich Trpišovský told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) that the first game after a break always made him nervous, but that the team was prepared and eager to get the pack on the field.

Sparta will play a home game against FC Slovan Liberec at Generali Arena on Sunday at 6 pm. It will be televised on O2 TV Sport.

Sparta coach Andrea Stramaccioni told MfD that the fans deserved a home win. He also said he would be using new club members.

Liberec is in fourth place after the break. Former Sparta trainer David Holoubek now works for Liberec, so the teams will share some of the same preparation styles.

Two lower profile games will also be played, but neither will be televised.

Bohemians 1905 has a home game against FC Zbrojovka Brno at Ďolíček at 6:30 pm. Both teams met previously in January in the Tipsport League final, with Brno winning 2:0. Bohemian’s coach Martin Hašek said the loss was a wake-up call, and the team is now better prepared. He also was critical of having to play on artificial turf in the previous match.

Brno coach Roman Pivarník said his team has worked to eliminate its weaknesses so it can play well even when it is the underdog.

Dukla will be playing an away game with FC Fastav Zlín at Letná Stadion at 3 pm on Saturday. Zlín is in ninth place, just a notch above Dukla.

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