Roma and Plzeň both need to recover from matchday one disappointment as they meet at the Stadio Olimpico.
Article top media content
Roma and Viktoria Plzeň both have to recover from chastening matchday one experiences as they meet in the Stadio Olimpico in Group G.
• While Roma slipped to a 3-0 defeat at holders Real Madrid, Plzeň looked set to kick off with a victory as they opened up a two-goal lead on CSKA Moskva, only to concede twice in the second period – the equaliser a penalty deep into added time – to be pegged back to a 2-2 draw.
• Roma will be looking for a repeat of the sides' only previous meeting in Rome, a 4-1 home victory in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage. Edin Džeko contributed a hat-trick, with Martin Zeman mustering the sole Plzeň reply.
• The reverse fixture in the Czech Republic had finished 1-1. Diego Perotti's fourth-minute penalty was cancelled out seven minutes later by Marek Bakoš to earn the home side a point, although it was Roma who went on to win the section with their Czech opponents third.
• Third in Serie A in 2017/18, Roma are in the group stage for an 11th time and the fourth in five years.
• Roma, runners-up in the 1983/84 European Cup, reached the semi-finals last season, losing to Liverpool. They finished top of a group including Chelsea and Atlético Madrid, before beating Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona in the knockout rounds – the latter particularly memorable, as a 4-1 away defeat was followed by a 3-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico – before succumbing to Liverpool.
• Roma won all three home matches in last season's knockout rounds and five of their six matches at the Stadio Olimpico, drawing against Atlético Madrid on matchday one. They kept clean sheets in the first five matches, before a 4-2 win against Liverpool in the semi-final second leg.
• However, Roma have won just six of their last 13 home matches in the UEFA Champions League – qualifying included – losing four.
• The Giallorossi's only other home game against Czech visitors was a 3-1 extra-time defeat of Slavia Praha in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg, although they bowed out on away goals having lost 2-0 away.
• Plzeň's 2011/12 and 2013/14 UEFA Champions League seasons both ended in the group stage after starting in the second qualifying round. This is the first time they have automatically qualified for this stage.
• In 2017/18, the Czech club lost to Romania's FCSB in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round (2-2 away, 1-4 home). They went on to finish top of their UEFA Europa League section and beat Partizan in the round of 32, before losing to Sporting CP in the last 16 (0-2 away, 2-1 home aet).
• Plzeň's 2-0 victory at Hapoel Beer-Sheva on matchday six of last season's UEFA Europa League group stage is their only win in their last 15 European away fixtures (D6 L8).
• In Plzeň's first two UEFA Champions League group campaigns, their away record was W1 L5. Their sole success was a 1-0 victory at BATE Borisov in November 2011.
• The Czech champions have lost two of their three away games in Italy – although the exception was a memorable 3-0 win at Napoli in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32, setting up a 5-0 aggregate success.
Links and trivia
• Džeko played in the Czech Republic for Teplice between 2005 and 2007, having a loan spell at Ústí nad Labem in 2005. The Bosnia and Herzgovina striker, who can speak fluent Czech, scored 16 goals in 43 appearances for Teplice.
• Džeko scored away (3-0) and home (4-2) as Manchester City beat Plzeň twice in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Roma's Czech international forward Patrik Schick played for Sparta Praha (2013–15) and Bohemians 1905 (2015/16) before moving to Italy with Sampdoria in 2016.
• David Limberský played four games for Modena in 2003/04.
• Summer transfers
In: Iván Marcano (Porto), Ante Ćorić (Dinamo Zagreb), Bryan Cristante (Atalanta), Justin Kluivert (Ajax), Antonio Mirante (Bologna), Davide Santon (Inter), Javier Pastore (Paris), William Bianda (Lens)*, Nicolò Zaniolo (Internazionale), Daniel Fuzato (Palmeiras)*, Robin Olsen (København), Steven N'Zonzi (Sevilla)
Out: Radja Nainggolan (Inter), Marco Tumminello (Atalanta), Arturo Calabresi (Bologna), Lukasz Skorupski (Bologna), Bruno Peres (São Paulo, loan), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gerson (Fiorentina, loan), Grégoire Defrel (Sampdoria, loan), Leandro Castán (released), Maxime Gonalons (Sevilla, loan), Kevin Strootman (Marseille)
• Roma picked up only five points from their first five Serie A games – their worst start to a season since 2010/11. However, they were 4-0 winners against Frosinone on 26 September, Cengiz Ünder scoring the first goal to open his account for the season.
• Eusebio Di Francesco's side were 3-1 winners against Lazio in the Rome derby on Saturday afternoon, Aleksandar Kolarov scoring for the second game in a row and Lorenzo Pellegrini opening his account for the season.
• Against Frosinone, Daniele De Rossi made his 600th Roma appearance in all competitions.
• The Frosinone match is Roma's only clean sheet since the 1-0 win at Torino on Serie A's opening weekend.
• Lorenzo Pellegrini's goal against Lazio made him the tenth different Roma player to find the net in 2018/19.
• Luca Pellegrini made his Roma debut against Frosinone, providing the assist for Kolarov's goal; Nicolò Zaniolo also made his first Serie A appearance.
• Diego Perotti has been out since picking up a thigh injury in a 2-0 loss at Bologna on 23 September.
• Summer transfers:
In: Luděk Pernica (Jablonec), Ubong Ekpai (Zlín), Roman Procházka (Levski Sofia), Pavel Bucha (unattached)
Out: Andreas Ivanschitz (released), Diego Živulić (Pafos), Václav Pilař (Sigma Olomouc), Miloš Kratochvíl (Jablonec), Marek Bakoš (Spartak Trnava)
• Having won their first six league games this season, including three away, Plzeň have lost the last two away from home; a 4-0 loss at Slavia Praha in a top-of-the-table contest on 1 September – their heaviest defeat since a 5-0 loss, also at Slavia, in May 2016 – and a 3-0 defeat at Jablonec after matchday one.
• Plzeň did, however, beat Sparta Praha 1-0 at home on Friday, Roman Procházka scoring the only goal on his first appeance since 26 August after recovering from a muscle problem.
• Procházka has made seven appearances for Plzeň, and all seven games have ended in victory.
• The club's official shirts for the UEFA Champions League group stage feature a logo promoting the Czech national bone marrow donors register on the back. All Plzeň's senior and Under-19 players have joined the register.