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Plzeň out to keep adventure going against Milan

Newcomers FK Viktoria Plzeň welcome seven-time European champions AC Milan needing just a point to secure third place in Group H and UEFA Europa League football in the new year.

Marek Bakoš puts Alessandro Nesta under pressure during Plzeň's September defeat at San Siro
Marek Bakoš puts Alessandro Nesta under pressure during Plzeň's September defeat at San Siro ©Getty Images

FK Viktoria Plzeň welcome AC Milan to Prague looking to finish the job of wrapping up third place in UEFA Champions League Group H.

• With Milan already secure in second place behind FC Barcelona, the overriding question at the Stadion Eden is whether Plzeň, 2-0 losers at San Siro in September, can retain their advantage over fourth-placed FC BATE Borisov and earn entry into the UEFA Europa League.

• Plzeň's victory in Belarus on matchday five – their first in the UEFA Champions League – lifted them two points above BATE and left them needing only a draw against Massimiliano Allegri's Milan to guarantee European football after Christmas for the first time.

Match background
• This is the first home meeting with Italian opponents for Plzeň, the UEFA Champions League newcomers who are still seeking a first home victory in the competition proper. Pavel Vrba's men did post three successive wins at their own ground in the qualifying round and play-offs in July and August.

• Milan have not won away to Czech opposition since their first visit to the country, beating AC Sparta Praha 1-0 through a Luciano Chiarugi goal in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals en route to winning the trophy.

• The Rossoneri's most recent trip to the Czech Republic brought a goalless draw with Sparta in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League round of 16, a match featuring Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf and unused substitutes Christian Abbiati and Massimo Ambrosini. Their overall record in the country is W1 D2 L1.

Team ties
• Antonio Nocerino and Alberto Aquilani played for Italy in a 3-1 win against František Rajtoral's Czech Republic at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, Aquilani scoring one of the goals.

• Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta and Gianluca Zambrotta played in Italy's 2-0 victory against the Czech Republic at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

• Before switching his international allegiance to Ghana, Kevin-Prince Boateng was in the Germany side that beat Martin Fillo and Rajtoral's Czech Republic 2-1 in a UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite-round fixture in Zlin in May 2005.

• David Limberský made four appearances in Serie A during a loan spell at Modena FC in 2003/04. He did not face the Rossoneri but did line up against Daniele Bonera in a 2-2 draw with the Milan player's old side, Parma FC, on 6 March 2004.

• Plzeň's most experienced European campaigner, Pavel Horváth, has had mixed fortunes in home ties against Italian opposition with his previous clubs.

• With SK Slavia Praha, Horváth suffered a 2-0 home defeat against Bologna FC in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup second round. He then earned a 1-0 win against Udinese Calcio – and eventual away-goals success – in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup fourth round. With Galatasaray AŞ, he sat on the bench for a 1-0 home win against a Nesta-skippered S.S. Lazio side in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

• Taye Taiwo scored on Czech soil for Olympique de Marseille against FK Mladá Boleslav in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round but finished on the losing side as a 4-2 defeat confirmed the French side's elimination by a 4-3 aggregate score.

• Former Czech international Pavel Nedvěd had a spell in the youth ranks at Plzeň and later enjoyed a long and successful career in Italy with Lazio (1996 to 2001) and Juventus (2001 to 2009). He is now a member of the Juventus board.