Plzeň primed for Shakhtar

Dušan Uhrin Jr will bid to make a positive start at FC Viktoria Plzeň as the Czech champions meet Ukrainian counterparts FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Plzeň and Shakhtar are champions in their respective countries
Plzeň and Shakhtar are champions in their respective countries ©Getty Images

FC Viktoria Plzeň take on fellow UEFA Champions League refugees FC Shakhtar Donetsk with a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 at stake.

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

• Shakhtar's four games against Czech sides ended W2 D0 L2 (W1 D0 L1 at home – W1 D0 L1 in the Czech Republic).

• Ukrainian teams have generally had the better of the 18 meetings between clubs from the two nations, with the record W9 D4 L5 (W7 D0 L2 at home – W2 D4 L3 in the Czech Republic).

Match background
• Plzeň are in the round of 32 for the third time; they lost on their maiden appearance in 2011/12 then won 5-0 on aggregate against SSC Napoli last season en route to a round of 16 defeat by Fenerbahçe SK.

• Plzeň have won four of their six UEFA home games this season.

• Shakhtar last featured in the UEFA Europa League as holders in the 2009/10 season, storming through the group stage before losing to Fulham FC in the round of 32.

• Shakhtar lost three of their four European away fixtures in 2013, with their only away goals all year coming in a 2-0 UEFA Champions League group stage win at Real Sociedad de Fútbol.

Team facts
• Shakhtar boast Czech talent in the form of defender Tomáš Hübschmann, who featured for FC Zlín, FK Jablonec 97 and AC Sparta Praha before joining the Pitmen in 2004.

• Ukraine and Italy are the most represented nations in the round of 32 with four teams each.

• Shakhtar (2009) are one of nine former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32, along with Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980), Valencia CF (2004), SSC Napoli (1989), AFC Ajax (1992), FC Porto (2003, 2011) and final hosts Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).

• Shakhtar and Plzeň are among nine domestic champions in the round of 32, along with Ajax (Netherlands), FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland), Juventus (Italy), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (Israel), NK Maribor (Slovenia) and Porto (Portugal).

Coach information
• Pavel Vrba stepped down as Plzeň coach at the end of 2013 to take charge of the Czech national team.

• Dušan Uhrin Jr will now lead Plzeň. The 46-year-old son of celebrated Czech coach Dušan Uhrin, he had his playing career ruined by injury but thrived as a coach at Bohemians 1905 and FK Mladá Boleslav, before heading abroad to lead FC Timişoara and AEL Limassol FC, then winning a domestic double in Georgia with FC Dinamo Tbilisi in 2012/13.

• Mircea Lucescu has been in charge at Shakhtar since May 2004. Capped 70 times by Romania, he won seven titles as a winger at FC Dinamo Bucureşti. As a coach, he led Romania, then won domestic titles with Dinamo and FC Rapid Bucureşti in his home country and Galatasaray AŞ and Beşiktaş JK in Turkey, while his Shakhtar haul now includes seven league championships, five Ukrainian Cups and the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.

• Lucescu is the most experienced coach in the competition with 186 UEFA club competition games; his nearest rival, SSC Napoli's Rafael Benítez, has 145.

• Lucescu is one of five coaches in the round of 32 to have led a side to victory in this competition before. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk's Juande Ramos (Sevilla FC, 2006 & 2007), PAOK FC's Huub Stevens, who won it as a player (PSV Eindhoven, 1978) and a coach (FC Schalke 04, 1997), AZ Alkmaar boss Dick Advocaat (FC Zenit, 2008) and Napoli's Benítez (Valencia CF, 2004 & Chelsea FC, 2013) are the others.

Round of 16
• The winners in this tie will face FC Chornomorets Odesa or Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 16, playing the second leg at home.

• Plzeň have yet to come up against either of their potential opponents.

• Shakhtar have never played Chornomorets in Europe, but know them well from the Ukrainian league. They have yet to encounter Lyon.