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Rapid Wien v Plzeň background

Unbeaten at home in the UEFA Europa League since October 2012, Group E leaders Rapid Wien take on Czech champions Viktoria Plzeň on matchday three.

Rapid started their Group E campaign by defeating Villarreal
Rapid started their Group E campaign by defeating Villarreal ©AFP/Getty Images

SK Rapid Wien have made a bright start in Group E but must be on their mettle as FC Viktoria Plzeň make the short journey west on UEFA Europa League matchday three.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition in what is Plzeň's first encounter with Austrian opponents.

• Rapid's four games against Czech teams have ended W2 D0 L2 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W0 D0 L2 in the Czech Republic).

Form guide
• Rapid have won both of their Group E fixtures and are unbeaten in eight UEFA Europa League home matches (W5 D3) since a 4-0 loss to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in October 2012.

• Rapid failed to progress to the knockout phase in their four previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

• Plzeň successfully navigated their way through their only previous UEFA Europa League group stage in 2012/13.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Plzen to Vienna is around 275km, making Plzeň's the shortest trip any club will take on matchday three.

• Rapid goalkeeper Ján Novota, Plzeň counterpart Matúš Kozáčik and Patrik Hrošovský are team-mates with Slovakia.

• Plzeň are one of ten domestic champions in this season's group stage, along with KF Skenderbëu (Albania), Qarabağ FK (Albania), APOEL FC (Cyprus), FC Midtjylland (Denmark), KKS Lech Poznań (Poland), FK Partizan (Serbia), Celtic FC (Scotland), Molde FK (Norway) and FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland).

The coaches
• A midfielder of Croatian descent, Vienna-born Zoran Barisic played for Rapid from 1993 to 1995 and has been on the coaching staff since 2006. He assumed sole command in 2013 and led the Green-Whites to a runners-up finish in the Austrian Bundesliga last season.

• Karel Krejčí took charge at Plzeň this summer, replacing Miroslav Koubek. He was Pavel Vrba's assistant when Plzeň won two league titles and he continues to work as Vrba's No2 with the Czech national team.