SPARTA PRAGUE manager Pavel Vrba attempted to take the sting out of Thursday's Europa League showdown with Rangers at Ibrox by playing down any notion of hostility between the clubs.

The last meeting in the Czech capital almost two months ago was marred when schoolchildren in the home end jeered Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara, who had been racially abused by Slavia Prague midfielder Ondrej Kudela in a Europa League clash at Ibrox last season.

The fallout to September's match included Sparta criticising those they felt were making "unprecedented xenophobic statements against the Czech Republic, its citizens and even its children on social media".

Glasgow Times:

The Czech club have issued a guidebook to supporters making the trip to Ibrox urging them "to represent our club, its famous name, tradition and values", while also warning them not to leave Glasgow city centre or wear club colours until inside the stadium.

Vrba was reluctant to say anything to add to the tension in the build-up.

When asked - via an interpreter - in his pre-match media briefing how he would prepare his team for the atmosphere at Ibrox, he said: "I don't think there was a problem between Rangers and Sparta in Prague, so I don't understand why I should expect problems now."

Asked about the supporter handbooks - published by Sparta on the basis of information from the Czech embassy and Police Scotland - Vrba said: "I think all clubs should issue some sort of handbook for their fans to teach them how they should behave."

Glasgow Times:

Sparta will be the first opponents Rangers have faced under new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but Vrba insists the change of manager at Ibrox has had no bearing on his own team's preparation for a match between two sides locked together on four points in the battle to qualify for the knockout phase alongside group leaders Lyon.

"Regardless of which manager is in charge, we know Rangers is a very strong team," he said.

"It doesn't matter much for us who is the manager. We know there is a new manager but it is still the same team. We want to proceed so three points is our goal."