Club Atlético de Madrid will look to maintain their remarkable European form as they play host to FC Viktoria Plzeň in UEFA Europa League Group B.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• In their only previous tie against a Czech club, Atlético beat FC Zlín 4-2 away before losing 2-0 at home in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup to go through on away goals.
• Plzeň lost 2-0 away and 4-0 at home against FC Barcelona – their only previous encounters with a Liga club – in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage. They have thus yet to score against a Spanish side.
• Atlético are on a run of 14 straight wins in European competition since a 2-0 defeat at Udinese Calcio in last season's group stage. They are also in a sequence of ten consecutive home wins since an unexpected 3-2 loss to Aris Thessaloniki FC in the 2010/11 group stage.
• Atlético have won two of the three UEFA Europa Leagues since the competition took on its new identity.
• This is Atlético's fourth UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage; they have only once failed to reach the knockout phase, when they were last defending their title in 2010/11.
• Plzeň are making their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage this season, but enjoyed a maiden campaign in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2011/12, doing enough to secure a third-placed finish and a transfer to the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they lost to FC Schalke 04.
• Plzeň have already played seven European games this season, recording six wins and one defeat.
• Hired in December 2011, Atlético coach Diego Simeone picked up the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup trophies in his first eight months in charge, adding to the considerable haul he won as a defensive midfielder. A Spanish double winner in 1995/96 in the first of two spells with Atlético, the man capped 106 times by Argentina captured the 1997/98 UEFA Cup at FC Internazionale Milano and then an Italian double in 1999/2000 with S.S. Lazio.
• Pavel Vrba's career as a defender peaked with spells at Baník Ostrava and RH Cheb in the 1980s. After coaching the national Under-20 side, he won the Czech title with Baník (2003/04) and the Slovakian crown at MŠK Žilina (2006/07), moving on to Plzeň in 2008. He lifted the Czech Cup in his second season and the league title in his third, in 2010/11, then marshalled their progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage the following term.
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