Académica require success in Plzeň test
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Victory against the holders on matchday four will have given A. Académica de Coimbra confidence ahead of a must-win encounter with FC Viktoria Plzeň in UEFA Europa League Group B.
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A. Académica de Coimbra beat the holders last time out but must win against FC Viktoria Plzeň if they are to have a chance of qualifying from UEFA Europa League Group B.
• Académica are five points adrift of second-placed Plzeň and will be eliminated along with back markers Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC if they fail to beat the Czech side. Plzeň, on the other hand, only need to avoid defeat to go through.
• Plzeň came from behind to win 3-1 when the sides met on matchday one. Wilson Eduardo put Académica ahead against the run of play, but second-half strikes from Pavel Horváth, Michal Ďuriš and František Rajtoral rounded off a commanding display. Neither team had previously faced outfits from their opponent's country.
• In the 22 UEFA competition meetings between clubs from the two nations, Czech sides have the upper hand with the record W10 D5 L7 (W7 D3 L1 at home; W3 D2 L6 in Portugal). In addition, Vitória SC beat FC Baník Ostrava 2-1 on aggregate in the 1969/70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League.
• Académica's 2-0 win against Club Atlético de Madrid on matchday four was their first victory in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League, and matched their best ever European result – a 2-0 win against 1. FC Magdeburg in the European Cup Winners' Cup second round in October 1969.
• That victory also ended the holders' record-breaking run of 16 straight European victories.
• Plzeň have yet to record a draw away from home in 14 European encounters, with their record on the road so far reading W7 D0 L7.
• Plzeň's next goal will be their 50th in UEFA club competition; this will be their 29th UEFA game.
• Plzeň's midfield stalwart Horváth played for Sporting Clube de Portugal from 2000-01 but did not win a regular first-team place.
• Born in Angola, ex-defender Pedro Emanuel helped Boavista FC win their only league title in 2000/01, before he claimed five more titles as a player with FC Porto, as well as the 2002/03 UEFA Cup and 2003/04 UEFA Champions League. Assistant to André Villas-Boas at Porto in 2010/11, he took sole command of Académica the following season, and guided the side to Portuguese Cup glory – their first trophy since 1939.
• Pavel Vrba's career as a defender peaked with spells at RH Cheb and FC Baník Ostrava in the 1980s. After coaching the national Under-20 side, he was assistant to František Komňacký as Baník won the Czech title in 2004, before winning the Slovakian crown at MŠK Žilina (2006/07) and moving on to Plzeň in 2008. He won the Czech Cup in his second season and the league title in his third, in 2010/11, then marshalled their progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage the following campaign.