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Vrba acknowledges gulf in class as Bayern visit

Pavel Vrba admitted that even a vastly improved FC Viktoria Plzeň performance might not be enough to halt an FC Bayern München side eyeing early qualificiation.

Dante and Franck Ribéry training with Bayern on the eve of the game
Dante and Franck Ribéry training with Bayern on the eve of the game ©Getty Images

FC Viktoria Plzeň coach Pavel Vrba said he would like to "change just about everything" about his side's 5-0 defeat at FC Bayern München when the teams meet again on Tuesday night. However, he acknowledged that even that might not be enough against one of the "best teams in the world". As for holders and Group D leaders Bayern, their coach Josep Guardiola is still striving for more. "I can see a chance for us to qualify for the knockout stage," he said.

• Bayern are through with a win if PFC CSKA Moskva do not beat Manchester City FC. A draw is enough for Bayern if City win. Plzeň are out if they draw and City win, or if they lose and City do not.

Pavel Vrba, coach
We have shown the players the video from our game against Bayern twice. First I talked about the match itself, then the second time I wanted them to watch their performances and see what is needed to improve. I have seen six or seven Bayern games, not only the one against Hoffenheim. They have been playing fantastic football, and they won even when they were behind against strong opponents. They've proved that they belong among the best teams in the world.

We would like to change virtually everything about our performance in Munich, but the question is whether or not we have the quality to do it. Just remember the score Bayern recorded last season against Barcelona. We are going to try to do as much as possible to make it harder for them. We might change our tactical lineup, and make it a bit more of an attacking formation as we are going to play at home and be more active on the ball, but of course the question is whether it will be enough.

To play against Bayern or Manchester City is a holiday for us, and also for our fans, the whole city and Czech football. It is a reward for our victories in the qualifying rounds. But now we run into clubs that are of a much higher quality. It is prestigious for us and we are fully aware of the possibilities of our club [compared with] the biggest clubs in the world.

[Arjen] Robben is not here, but I would have been happier if [Franck] Ribéry had not turned up. He was so fantastic in the first game, his performance three weeks ago was simply unbelievable, he was unstoppable.

Weekend result
Saturday: Plzeň 6-1 FK Jablonec (Horváth 16pen 68, Tecl 23pen 45, Kolář 55, Wágner 86; Piták 11)
Kozáčik; Rajtoral, Čišovský, Procházka, Řezník; Hubník; Horváth (Pospíšil 87), Hořava; Petržela, Ďuriš, Kolář (Bakoš 80); Tecl (Wágner 74).

• After two straight league draws and 226 minutes without a goal, Plzeň returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion to move up to second, seven points behind AC Sparta Praha.

Team news
David Limberský, who has recovered from a thigh injury, was out with a sore throat on Saturday and is a doubt. "The chance of Limberský starting the match tomorrow is about 2%," said Vrba.

 Josep Guardiola, coach
Every game in the Champions League is dangerous because every opponent you come up against in this competition has experience. Plzeň won 6-1 in the league at the weekend and are on good form, but I can see a chance for us to qualify for the knockout stage.

There is always something to improve on, even in the games that we win, and we still want to get better. We have been at the very top and won everything, but that means we have to work even harder to maintain our position.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has helped the team a lot recently because he is in excellent shape. In the last game, against Hoffenheim, he played really well − I was very satisfied with him. He is improving a lot but has problems with his ankle.

It is always a challenge if you can break a record and you always make the effort to. We know about it [the chance to equal the competition's longest winning sequence], but we will put this to one side when we go on to the pitch. It is a bit more motivation for us − it is in my mind a bit − but we have to concentrate on the game itself. We hope to win it.

Weekend result
Saturday: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1-2 Bayern (Süle 34; Mandžukić 39, Müller 75)
Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Javi Martínez, Götze (Rafinha 80), Schweinsteiger, Müller, Ribéry; Mandžukić (Kroos 64).

• Ribéry set up both goals for Bayern's third straight comeback league win. They have equalled Hamburger SV's 31-year-old record of 36 unbeaten Bundesliga games in a row. Ribéry himself is undefeated in 40 straight league fixtures (a record) and 51 competitive matches.

Team news
Robben is out with a groin injury. Jérôme Boateng is back after suspension while Javi Martínez is available after returning to action at Hoffenheim.

Match fact
• Bayern have won their last eight UEFA Champions League games and need one more victory to equal FC Barcelona's competition record of nine set in 2002/03.

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