Plzeň v Real Madrid facts

Viktoria Plzeň welcome Real Madrid, who have changed coach since beating the Czech champions on matchday two.

Marcelo after scoring Real Madrid's matchday three winner against Plzeň
Marcelo after scoring Real Madrid's matchday three winner against Plzeň ©AFP/Getty Images

Having changed their coach since matchday three, Real Madrid will look for another win against Viktoria Plzeň to keep pace at the top of Group G, while the Czech side are running out of time to make an impact in this season's UEFA Champions League.

• Holders Madrid beat Plzeň 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu on 23 October in what was the sides' first ever meeting thanks to goals early in each half from Karim Benzema and Marcelo, although Patrik Hrošovský's 79th-minute effort for the visitors ensured a tense finale.

• That took Madrid on to six points, level with Roma and two ahead of CSKA Moskva. Plzeň have one point and will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose to Madrid and Roma win away to CSKA.

• Madrid have changed coaches since matchday three, parting company with Julen Lopetegui on 29 October; B team coach Santiago Solari has been placed in charge on a temporary basis.

Form guide
Plzeň
• The Czech champions had looked set to kick off Group G with a home win against CSKA Moskva but were pegged back by an added-time penalty equaliser. Matchday two proved a chastening experience as they went down 5-0 at Roma to equal their largest European defeat.

• 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.

Highlights: Real Madrid 2-1 Plzeň
Highlights: Real Madrid 2-1 Plzeň

• 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).

• The CSKA draw halted Plzeň's six-game winning streak in home European games, since that 4-1 loss at home to FCSB last season.

• In Plzeň's first two UEFA Champions League group campaigns, their home record was W1 D2 L3. A 2-1 defeat of CSKA on matchday six in 2013/14 is their only win at home in the competition proper.

• The Czech champions' last home game against Spanish opponents ended in a 3-3 draw against Villarreal in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage. Home and away, they have won one of their seven matches with Liga sides (D1 L5), although they are unbeaten in the only two played in Plzen (W1 D1).

Madrid
• Lopetegui's charges went down 1-0 at CSKA Moskva on matchday two – only the club's fifth defeat in the last 35 European matches – after opening Group G with a 3-0 home defeat of Roma.

• Madrid are holders and 13-time champions. Semi-finalists or better in each of the last eight seasons, this is their 49th European Cup campaign – more than any other side.

• Third in last season's Liga, the Spanish giants are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 23rd time – a competition high they share with Barcelona and Porto.

Santiago Solari has taken over as Real Madrid coach
Santiago Solari has taken over as Real Madrid coach©Getty Images

• Madrid picked up six points away from home in last season's group stage, losing 3-1 at Tottenham but winning 3-1 at Borussia Dortmund and 6-0 at APOEL – the latter result their biggest away success in the UEFA Champions League.

• Defeat in Moscow on matchday two was only Madrid's fourth loss in their last 19 away European matches, with 11 wins.

• Madrid lost 4-2 to Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Tallinn in August, denying the club a third straight triumph in the competition. That was the club's first final defeat in international competition since losing to Boca Juniors in the 2000 European-South American Cup.

• The defeat in Moscow means Madrid lost two European fixtures out of four under Lopetegui before his departure.

• This is Madrid's first trip to the Czech Republic since a 3-2 win at Sparta Praha in November 2001 – their first away win in the country (D2 L2).

• Madrid have won their last four matches against Czech clubs, home and away, and are unbeaten in the last six (D2).

Links and trivia
• Plzeň coach Pavel Vrba was in charge of a Czech Republic side including Roman Hubník that suffered a 1-0 defeat by Sergio Ramos and Spain in the UEFA EURO 2016 group stage.

• Solari scored Madrid's opening goal in a 3-0 home defeat of Sparta Praha in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second group stage.

• Toni Kroos appeared in Bayern München's 5-0 home win and 1-0 away success against Plzeň in the 2013/14 group stage.

Latest news

Plzeň
• Plzeň have won only two of their last five matches in all competitions, although they were 1-0 victors in the league at Baník Ostrava on Saturday.

• The Czech champions' 12-match unbeaten home run (W9 D3) in all competitions was ended by a 3-2 extra-time defeat, also against Baník, in the last 16 of the Czech Cup on 31 October.

• Michael Krmenčík injured his knee ligaments in the 2-1 defeat of Slovácko on 28 October; he is not expected to play again this season.

• Lukáš Hejda had to be substituted in the 44th minute against Slovácko due to a muscle injury, but returned on Saturday.

• Daniel Kolář (out since 2 October) and Jan Kovařík (7 October) are currently sidelined.

• Jan Kopic played in the cup against Baník, his first appearance since 28 September after recovering from an ankle injury. He scored his first goal of the season in the league at Baník on Saturday.

• Thirteen of Plzeň's 21 league goals this season have been scored in the last 30 minutes of games – including seven in the final 15.

• 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.

Real Madrid
• Casemiro's next appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be his 50th.

• Madrid were without a win in five Liga matches (D1 L4), their worst run since May 2009 when they lost five in a row, before Saturday's 2-0 home win against Valladolid.

• Victory against Valladolid did, however, make it three wins in Madrid's last four matches in all competitions.

• Sergio Ramos scored Madrid's second goal with a penalty on Saturday. All four of his club goals this season, and eight of his last ten Madrid strikes, have come from the spot.

• Sergio Reguilón, who featured in Madrid's loss at CSKA on matchday two, made his first Liga appearance at the weekend.

• The 5-1 defeat at Barcelona on 28 October proved Julen Lopetegui's last game in charge – he parted company with Madrid the following day, Santiago Solari taking charge on a temporary basis.

• Marcelo scored Madrid's goal at the Camp Nou, the third game in a row in which the full-back found the net.

• Solari's first game in charge was a 4-0 win at third division Melilla 4-0 in the Copa del Rey fourth round first leg on 31 October, Álvaro Odriozola and Cristo González scoring their first club goals.

• Madrid have nevertheless won only three of their last nine matches in all competitions, losing five.

• Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have not scored in the Liga since 1 September.

• A calf problem has kept Dani Carvajal out since matchday two.

• Raphaël Varane was replaced at half-time at Barcelona with an adductor problem, while Marcelo went off late on with a hamstring problem. Mariano Díaz also has a hamstring injury while Jesús Vallejo is carrying a thigh problem; all missed the Valladolid game.

• Luka Modrić was voted UEFA Men's Player of the Year for 2017/18 on 30 August. The Croatian also collected the award for UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season, with club-mates Keylor Navas and Sergio Ramos picking up the prizes for Goalkeeper and Defender respectively.

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