Lugano v Plzeň background

Lugano will look to avoid another 2-1 defeat in UEFA Europa League Group G against a Plzeň team who have not won on the road in Europe for some time.

Lugano celebrate Mattia Bottani's matchday two goal against FCSB
Lugano celebrate Mattia Bottani's matchday two goal against FCSB ©AFP/Getty Images

Lugano will look to avoid another 2-1 defeat in UEFA Europa League Group G against a Plzeň team who have not won on the road in Europe for some time.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time, and it is Plzeň's maiden encounter with Swiss opposition.

• Lugano faced another Czech club, Slavia Praha, in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup second round; František Cipro's Slavia beat Roberto Morinini's team 2-1 in Lugano and then 1-0 in Prague.

Highlights: Lugano 1-2 FCSB
Highlights: Lugano 1-2 FCSB

Form guide
• Lugano have lost both of their Group G games by the same 2-1 scoreline.

• Plzeň are without a win in 11 European away matches (D5 L6)

• Third in Switzerland last term, Lugano – from the Italian-speaking Ticino canton – have been absent from UEFA competition since 2002/03 and have never before featured in a group stage.

• Runners-up in last term's Czech First League, Viktoria Plzeň are contesting the UEFA Europa League group stage for a third straight season. They reached the last 16 in 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Highlights: Plzeň 3-1 H. Beer-Sheva
Highlights: Plzeň 3-1 H. Beer-Sheva

Trivia and links
• The journey from Plzen to Lugano is a little over 500km.

• Plzeň have won all ten of their Czech league games this season; only Napoli – with eight wins from eight in Italy – have made a comparable positive start to a 2017/18 European top-division campaign.

• Plzeň's Martin Zeman played in Switzerland with Sion (2015–16).

The coaches
• Pierluigi Tami took charge of Lugano for a second time in June 2017, the Italian-born defender having spent his entire professional career in Switzerland. Notably, he assisted Ottmar Hitzfeld during his spell as national coach.

• After stints as Czech Republic and Anji coach, Pavel Vrba rejoined Plzeň this year, having earlier steered Viktoria to two championships between 2008 and 2013. Once a Baník Ostrava player and coach, he lifted the 2006/07 Slovak title as Žilina boss.