FC Viktoria Plzeň journey to Russia for the first time to take on a PFC CSKA Moskva side who have found home comforts hard to come by recently in Europe. The game takes place in St Petersburg due to the state of the Arena Khimki pitch.
• Both teams will be looking to bounce back from 3-0 opening defeats in Group A, with CSKA losing at FC Bayern München and Plzeň beaten at home by Manchester City FC.
• CSKA will be looking to improve on their recent efforts on home turf in UEFA competition. Last season they lost 2-0 to AIK at the Arena Khimki in the UEFA Europa League play-offs – a result that undid the good work of their 1-0 first-leg win – while in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League, they reached the last 16 despite taking just three points in Moscow.
• CSKA have played at FC Zenit's Stadion Petrovski in St Petersburg on 12 occasions over the past decade, their record reading W5 D2 L5. Interestingly, they scored three goals each time they won.
• Plzeň arrive in Russia on the back of an impressive unbeaten run on their travels in Europe. Since losing their opening away fixture of last season's UEFA Europa League group stage at Club Atlético de Madrid, Pavel Vrba's men have put together a run of five wins and two draws on the road.
• Plzeň's notable results in that sequence include a 3-0 triumph at SSC Napoli in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 last term and successive wins at FK Željezničar (2-1), JK Nõmme Kalju (4-0), and NK Maribor (1-0) in this season's UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds.
• In Plzeň's 2011/12 debut campaign in the UEFA Champions League, they took three points on their travels – by virtue of a 1-0 win at FC BATE Borisov following defeats at AC Milan and FC Barcelona.
• While this is Plzeň's first encounter with a Russian team, CSKA's only previous meeting with Czech opposition came when they took four points off AC Sparta Praha en route to winning their group in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League. Seydou Doumbia (72, 86) and Mark González (84 pen) scored the goals in a 3-0 home victory on 30 September 2010, while the second leg in Prague finished 1-1 with Alan Dzagoev on target. Plzeň's Lukáš Hejda sat on the Sparta bench in Moscow and played all 90 minutes of the second match.
• Matúš Kozáčik appeared for Anorthosis Famagusta against CSKA in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs. After Marcos Argüello had been sent off, he came on as a substitute with 12 minutes left of the first leg in Moscow and CSKA already 4-0 ahead, and then played the entire second leg when Doumbia and González scored past him in a 2-1 CSKA victory.
• Aleksei Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich and the two-goal Dzagoev featured in Russia's 4-1 group stage victory over a Czech Republic side including Roman Hubnik and substitute Milan Petržela at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Hubník played under CSKA coach Leonid Slutski at FC Moskva in 2007, the first of his two years in Russia where he was a team-mate of Kirill Nababkin and made nine top-flight appearances.
• Marek Bakoš made 22 appearances and scored three goals in the Russian league for FC Shinnik Yaroslavl in 2006.
• Pavel Horváth and substitute David Limberský played in Sparta Praha's 0-0 home draw with FC Spartak Moskva in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage. Horváth was in the Sporting Clube de Portugal team defeated 3-1 in Moscow and 3-0 in Lisbon by Spartak in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
• Tomáš Wágner scored twice in the Czech Republic's 2-2 draw with Georgi Schennikov's Russia in a 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off in Yekaterinburg last October. Martin Pospíšil and Stanislav Tecl also featured for the Czechs, who were eliminated 4-2 on aggregate having lost the first leg at home.
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