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Roma v Plzeň background

Roma can confirm their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 by avoiding defeat on matchday five, but visitors Plzeň have their Group E hopes hanging by a thread.

Plzeň's Lukáš Hejda shadows Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy
Plzeň's Lukáš Hejda shadows Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy ©AFP/Getty Images

Roma will reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32 if they extend their unbeaten run in Group E, but Plzeň's hopes of preventing an early end to their campaign are hanging by a thread.

• Roma are through if they avoid defeat, or if the other game, between Austria Wien and Astra, does not end in a draw.

• Plzeň are out if they do not win and the other game does not end in a draw; should Austria and Astra draw, even a defeat in Rome would not finish the Czech side's chances.

• Austria are through with a victory if Plzen do not win; Astra are out with a defeat.

Previous meetings
• Both goals were scored inside the first 11 minutes as Plzeň pegged back Roma to draw 1-1 on matchday one in what was the sides' first meeting.

• Roma's only previous experience of Czech opponents came in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, the Giallorossi losing on away goals (aggregate 3-3) to Slavia Praha after extra time.

• Plzeň's record in four matches against Serie A opposition reads W2 D2 L1. In 2012/13, the Czech team posted a 5-0 aggregate victory over Napoli in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Form guide
• Roma are unbeaten in four Group E games; should they win or draw against Plzeň, they will be undefeated in ten UEFA Europa League group stage fixtures.

• Plzeň have drawn three of their four Group E matches, and four of their last five in Europe.

• Roma advanced in both of their previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns (2005/06, 2009/10).

• Plzeň have made it through one of their previous two UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, progressing as far as the round of 16 in 2012/13.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Plzen to Rome is not far off 900km.

• Plzeň's David Limberský briefly played in Italy with Modena in 2004.

• Prague-born Zdeněk Zeman, known for his attacking philosophy, has had two spells as Roma coach (1997–99, 2012/13).

The coaches
• Roman Pivarník took charge at Plzeň this summer following a two-year stint with Prague side Bohemians. This is his first continental foray as a coach, though he notably helped Rapid Wien make the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final as a midfielder in 1996.

• Luciano Spalletti returned to Roma in January after five years in Russia with Zenit, where he claimed two league titles. He lifted the Coppa Italia twice with Roma from 2005–09, having made his name by leading unfancied Udinese to fourth place in Serie A in 2004/05.