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Milan seek to reassert home rule against Plzeň

After two seasons of poor European home form, AC Milan will look for better when San Siro welcomes UEFA Champions League newcomers FK Viktoria Plzeň on matchday two in Group H.

Gennaro Gattuso found the net when Milan last hosted Czech opposition
Gennaro Gattuso found the net when Milan last hosted Czech opposition ©Getty Images

AC Milan will look to bring an end to the impressive away run that FK Viktoria Plzeň have produced so far in this season's UEFA Champions League when they welcome the tournament newcomers to San Siro on matchday two.

• Plzeň won three successive away games en route to the group stage but face their biggest test yet at San Siro, where Massimiliano Allegri's hosts will be keen to reassert their home supremacy.

• The Italian champions opened with a 2-2 draw at holders FC Barcelona, Pato and Thiago Silva scoring at either end of the match, while Plzeň drew 1-1 at home to FC BATE Borisov.

Match background
• Milan must improve on their home form in their past two UEFA Champions League campaigns if they are to be credible challengers for the title.

• In 2009/10 the Rossoneri recorded two draws and two losses while last term they managed a win and a draw before falling to successive defeats against AFC Ajax in the group stage and Tottenham Hotspur FC in the last 16. If they were to lose to Plzeň it would be the first time the seven-time winners had suffered three successive home defeats in UEFA competition.

• This is Plzeň's first visit to Italy but Pavel Vrba's men have recorded excellent results on the road in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, where they won at FC Pyunik (4-0), Rosenborg BK (1-0) and FC København (3-1). This sequence is all the more impressive given their inexperience on the continental stage; Plzeň had only played two European away games before this season, losing both and conceding nine goals.

• Milan have won all four previous home games against Czech opposition, most recently a 4-1 success against AC Sparta Praha in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League round of 16. Gennaro Gattuso was among the goalscorers that evening.

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.

• 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, will be making his fourth visit to Italy for a European tie and has yet to avoid defeat.

• With SK Slavia Praha, Horváth suffered a 2-1 loss at Udinese Calcio in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup fourth round, although this was enough to earn an away-goals victory. With Galatasaray AŞ, he sat on the bench for a 1-0 defeat by Nesta's S.S. Lazio in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage, and suffered a 5-1 reverse against Bologna FC in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup while with FK Teplice. Horváth had previously faced Bologna with Slavia in a 2-0 home defeat in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup second round.

• 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.

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