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It is a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for UEFA Champions League newcomers FC Viktoria Plzeň who, after defeat at San Siro last time out, now face another daunting trip to take on holders FC Barcelona.
• Barcelona shrugged off the frustrations of their 2-2 opening home draw with AC Milan by overwhelming FC BATE Borisov 5-0 in Belarus on matchday two. The joint Group H leaders will aim to build on that victory in their double header against the first-time Czech champions, who have one point to their name having followed a 1-1 home draw against BATE with a 2-0 loss in Milan.
• Barcelona are unbeaten in 11 European home matches dating back to a defeat by FC Rubin Kazan on 20 October 2009. Their sequence of results at the Camp Nou since comprises nine wins and two draws.
• Pavel Vrba's Plzeň side are making their first visit to Spain yet prior to losing to Milan, they had produced some impressive away results in the qualifying rounds – winning at FC Pyunik (4-0), Rosenborg BK (1-0) and FC København (3-1). That sequence was all the more impressive given their inexperience, the Czech side having only played two European away games prior to this campaign, losing both and conceding nine goals.
• Josep Guardiola was on the scoresheet when Barcelona last welcomed Czech opposition to the Camp Nou, scoring the third goal in a 5-0 defeat of AC Sparta Praha in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League second group stage. Guardiola also appeared in Barcelona's 2-1 victory in the return fixture as well as in both matches against Sparta in the group stage of the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup – a 3-2 home victory and 1-0 away defeat.
• Barcelona's home record against Czech visitors is W4 D0 L1. Their overall record reads W6 D1 L3.
• David Villa became Spain's all-time leading scorer after hitting both goals in their 2-1 home win against the Czech Republic in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier last March. Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Sergio Busquets also featured in the triumph in Granada.
• In the return fixture, played on 7 October, Xavi, Busquets and Piqué all played 90 minutes, while Villa and Carles Puyol came on in a 2-0 win for Spain. Daniel Kolář and Petr Jiráček started for the Czech Republic while Milan Petržela was an unused substitute.
• Villa made his debut in UEFA club competition for Real Zaragoza in a two-legged victory against SK Sigma Olomouc in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup first round. He will have less happy memories of facing SK Slavia Praha in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League while at Valencia CF. Villa appeared as a 62nd-minute substitute in that tie on 22 October 2009 but was sent off 23 minutes later.
• Daniel Alves helped Sevilla FC earn home and away wins against Slavia in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage, scoring in a 3-0 win in the Czech capital. Seydou Keita and Adriano featured alongside him in the 4-2 home success.
• Cesc Fàbregas scored twice as his Arsenal FC side defeated Slavia 7-0 at home in the same group on 23 October 2007. Fàbregas had already found the net twice that season against Arsenal's third qualifying round opponents, Sparta Praha, striking in both legs of the London club's 5-0 aggregate success.
• Ibrahim Afellay played for PSV Eindhoven in a 1-0 home win against Sparta in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League.
• Pavel Horváth is still seeking a first win against Spanish opposition in UEFA club competitions. He was in the Slavia Praha side beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Valencia CF in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup second round, and faced Real Madrid CF with Sporting Clube de Portugal in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League first group stage, earning a 2-2 home draw.
• Sergi Gómez and Gerard Deulofeu were part of the Spain team that beat a Czech Republic side including Plzeň's Martin Sladký 3-2 after extra time in the final of the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Romania.
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