Saints begin their Europa League adventure tomorrow hoping to keep their proud home record intact.

The club have lost just one in 14 home European ties down the years, with defeat to Sporting Lisbon back in the 1981 UEFA Cup the last time they were on the losing side on their own turf.

Their last five European matches at home have seen them go unbeaten, with four draws and one win.

Sparta Prague are the visitors to St Mary’s tomorrow as Saints make their debut in the group stages of a UEFA competition.

The Czech club are vastly more experienced when it comes to European competition, but have a wretched record against English sides.

They are without a win in their last 14 fixtures against Premier League teams, suffering ten defeats in the process.

In 18 matches overall against English opposition they have mustered just three victories.

The last of those as back in 1983 when they overcame Watford.

Sparta’s manager, Zdenek Scasny, who led the team to the Europa League quarter-finals last season, was one of the goalscorers in that game.

Sparta have suffered on their travels more recently in Europe as well, with no wins in their last three on the road.

However, they do carry a danger with their experience and knowhow.

They have made it through the group stages of either the Europa League or Champions League in three of their seven attempts, including three of the last four.

Saints boss Claude Puel, himself vastly experienced in European management, will be hoping for a first win since taking over as manager, and will contemplate changes to the team.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Charlie Austin didn’t start against Arsenal and could be drafted in for the game.

Excitement is building in Southampton ahead of the start of the Europa League, with Sparta touching down today.

Both sides will hold open training sessions for the media, as well as attending press conferences at St Mary’s.

It will be the first time Saints have faced Czech opposition in a competitive game.

The other game in Group K tomorrow night sees Inter Milan host Hapoel Beer Sheva.