FC Viktoria Plzeň face seven-time European club champions AC Milan on Tuesday but their coach Pavel Vrba is certain that by "not taking any risks" against the already qualified Italian champions his side can glean the point they require to guarantee the "happy ending" of UEFA Europa League football in the new year.
FC Viktoria Plzeň
Coach Pavel Vrba
If we get a point we will be through to the Europa League. We are up against tough opponents tomorrow, but I believe it will be a happy ending and we will be playing in Europe after Christmas. That would make us all proud of our performance as newcomers in Europe.
The maths is clear. One point will be enough and we will do everything to grab it. We want to win in front of our great fans, who have supported us throughout our Champions League campaign. We would like to play more attacking football, but we are all aware of what is required so we won't take any risks tomorrow.
We have gained precious experience. That is the most important thing for me. The Champions League is a great lesson for any team. It's not every day you get to play in the prestigious company of the best European clubs.
We're not worried about the match in Barcelona. Even if they play their reserves, there is a good chance they won't lose to BATE. All we care about is our match with Milan. Our fate is in our hands and now it's time to take advantage of the situation.
Friday: Plzeň 4-1 Bohemians 1905 (Horváth 25pen, Rajtoral 27, Pilař 41, Darida 84; Nešpor 4)
Čech; Rajtoral, Čišovský, Bystroň, Limberský; Horváth, Jiráček, Petržela (Darida 77), Kolář (Ďuriš 64), Pilař (Hora 87); Bakoš
• Plzeň, beaten 2-1 at 1. FK Příbram on 27 November, went into the Czech winter break on a high, albeit still ten points off the lead, with a fourth successive home league victory.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri
From a psychological point of view, our players are well prepared for such games. We will give a chance to players who have not played for some time, but if needed we will makes change during the match. For some it is a chance to prove how good they are. Others have not played for some time, so it is a chance to get back into the rhythm of playing and getting another taste of the Champions League.
Plzeň need a point, and they had some good spells in Milan. They played pretty well, so we have to be careful. They have good wingers. They are fast and very quick at getting into attacking positions. We will watch out for them and make sure we don't let them get away. We are not underestimating Plzeň. They have qualified for the Champions League, which means they have quality which has to be respected. It's a Champions League match and the result will go all over the world, therefore we must treat it with respect and play our best football.
Friday: Genoa CFC 0-2 Milan (Ibrahimović 56pen, Nocerino 79)
Amelia; Abate, Yepes, Thiago, Antonini; Aquilani, Ambrosini (Seedorf 69), Nocerino; Boateng; Robinho (El Shaarawy 88), Ibrahimović
• Milan went top before Juventus restored their two-point lead on Sunday as Zlatan Ibrahimović took his tally to nine goals in his last eight club appearances by converting a penalty awarded after he was brought down by Kakha Kaladze, an incident that earned the ex-Rossoneri defender a second yellow card.
Alberto Aquilani is suspended. Mark van Bommel missed the Genoa game with a swollen knee; Pato was a late withdrawal with flu. Christian Abbiati has a dislocated shoulder, Alessandro Nesta a pelvic injury, Philippe Mexès a broken hand and Mathieu Flamini knee ligament damage. Antonio Cassano is recovering from heart surgery and Gennaro Gattuso sixth nerve palsy in an eye.
Milan are the first Italian side to play an away match against Plzeň and they are aiming to end a winless run away to Czech opposition going back to a 1-0 defeat of AC Sparta Praha in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals.
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