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Goal-shy strugglers look to break free

Published: Saturday 8 November 2008, 6.30CET
MŠK Žilina and SK Slavia Praha are desperate to get some points on the board in UEFA Cup Group F, but the teams from either half of the former Czechoslovakia know from experience that goals will not come easy.
Goal-shy strugglers look to break free
Žilina in action against Hamburg on Matchday 1 ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

ŽilinaSlavia Praha

Goals scored5
 
3
Attempts on target18
 
17
Attempts off target15
 
13
Corners21
 
13
Offsides9
 
15
Fouls committed67
 
64
Yellow cards11
 
12
Red cards2
 
1

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Published: Saturday 8 November 2008, 6.30CET

Goal-shy strugglers look to break free

MŠK Žilina and SK Slavia Praha are desperate to get some points on the board in UEFA Cup Group F, but the teams from either half of the former Czechoslovakia know from experience that goals will not come easy.

MŠK Žilina and SK Slavia Praha are desperate to get some points on the board in UEFA Cup Group F, but the teams from either half of the former Czechoslovakia know from experience that separating the sides is unlikely to be easy.

• Žilina met Slavia in the second qualifying round of the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League, but 210 minutes of football between the two sides failed to produce a goal. After extra time in Prague, Karel Jarolím's Slavia won 4-3 on penalties.

• Mickaël Tavares, Matej Krajčík, Tomáš Necid and Stanislav Vlček converted their efforts for Slavia, while Ladislav Volešák and Marek Suchý missed.

• Róbert Jež, Admir Vladavić and Pavel Devaty found the net for Žilina but Zdeno Štrba, Peter Styvar and Benjamin Vomácka all failed, with the latter putting the decisive kick over the bar.

• The lineups for that match on 8 August 2007 were:
Slavia: Martin Vaniak, Petr Janda, David Kalivoda (Ladislav Volešák, 96), Matej Krajčík, Stanislav Vlček, Mickaël Tavares, Erich Brabec, Vladimír Šmicer (Michal Švec, 78), Zdeněk Šenkeřík (Tomáš Necid, 69), František Dřížďal, Marek Suchý.
Žilina: Dušan Kuciak, Mário Breška (Admir Vladavić, 116), Pavel Devátý, Robert Jež, Vladimír Leitner, Ivan Lietava (Peter Štyvar, 54), Mário Pečalka, Andrej Porázik (Ivan Belák, 73), Zdeno Štrba, Benjamin Vomáčka, Peter Pekarík.

• Dušan Kuciak, Žilina's goalkeeper last season, did his best to deny Slavia a place in the UEFA Cup group stage this time around. He kept a clean sheet in the first leg of SC Vaslui's UEFA Cup first round meeting with Slavia in Prague, but condeded to Erich Brabec in Romania in a tie which the Czech side drew 1-1 to progress on away goals.

• Brabec's goal remains the only one that Slavia have scored in five European games this season. The Czech champions missed out on a UEFA Champions League place with a 2-0 aggregate defeat against ACF Fiorentina and lost 1-0 to Aston Villa FC in their opening Group F game.

• Their record in Europe this season reads three draws and two defeats.

• Žilina are playing in their ninth European game of the season having battled their way through from the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup, but lost their opening two Group F fixtures at home against Hamburger SV (1-2) and away against AFC Ajax (0-1).

• They have already beaten Czech opposition this season, knocking out FC Slovan Liberec in the second qualifying round with 2-1 wins in each leg. Following last season's meeting with Slavia, this was only the club's second continental tie against a side from the Czech Republic. Therefore they have never lost a UEFA club competition game against a Czech team, drawing two and winning two.

• Slavia also have positive memories of their only other tie against Slovakian opposition as they defeated AŠK Inter Bratislava 4-2 on aggregate in a 1998/99 UEFA Cup second qualifying round game, winning 4-0 in Prague and progressing despite a 2-0 reverse in Bratislava.

• However, they have yet to win a game on Slovakian soil – or indeed score a goal – since the two nations went their separate ways, losing one game and drawing the other.

• Žilina have already changed coach this season, with former MFK Košice, Slovakia Under-21 and Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski boss Dušan Radolský replacing Pavel Vrba before the start of the group stage.

• Žilina have three Czech players on their books – Vomáčka, Ondřej Šourek and Emil Rilke.

• Šourek was a Slavia player last season, while Brazilian team-mate Adauto Da Silva also played for the Prague club between 2002 and 2006.

• Žilina goalkeeper Miroslav Seman played alongside Slavia's Martin Latka at SK Dynamo České Budějovice in 2002/03.

• Slavia boast Slovakian talent in the form of Dušan Švento, Krajčík and Milan Ivana.

• Defeat against Slavia would most likely mean the end of Žilina's European campaign, regardless of the result of their final game against Villa. While it is theoretically possible, no team has ever qualified from the UEFA Cup group stage with a total of three points or less.

• Should a draw between Slavia and Žilina coincide with a win for Hamburg or a draw against Ajax in the section's other fixture, Villa would qualify for the last 32 without kicking a ball.

• Hamburg face Ajax in Thursday's other Group F tie. Villa are the only side in the section not in action on Matchday 3.

Last updated: 13/11/08 16.46CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2009/matches/round=15285/match=304211/prematch/background/index.html#goal+strugglers+look+break+free

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