First of all where is Plzen?
It lies in the Czech Republic, about an hour’s drive from Prague, and is the fourth biggest city in the country with a population of roughly 170,000.
Interesting fact about Plzen:
If you use the English version of the name, Pilsen, and you are a beer lover, then you’ll know that the city is home of Pilsner Lager. The Pilsner beer is produced in a brewery next door to Viktoria’s stadium. Also, Plzen has been home to the car company Skoda since 1859.
What about their football team?
This is Plzen’s second time in the Champions League. Two seasons ago they finished third in a group which contained Barcelon, AC Milan and BATE Borisov, but drew at home to Milan. City, therefore, should not underestimate their opponents.
They are Czech champions and unbeaten league leaders after eight games, and reached the group stage by winning all six qualifying ties. As a result, they have won 10 of their last 11 European fixtures at home.
In the Europa League last season, they finished top of their group ahead of holders Atletico Madrid and then beat Napoli 5-0 on aggregate.
Who do City need to look out for?
Well, Pavel Horvath, Plzen’s 38 year old captain, was voted the club’s greatest player of all time and the veteran midfielder has scored three goals in qualifying. He is their key man in the centre of the park.
There is a fitness doubt over centre back Marian Cisovsky, who has scored five Champions League goals this season, emphasising his threat at set pieces, and right wing back Frantisek Rajtoral is a danger as he offers pace on the right.
How have Plzen done when they have played English teams in the past?
Plzen haven’t played English teams a great deal, but Spartak Plzen, as they were once known, drew 3-3 against Grimsby Town in a friendly in 1959. I suspect they would settle for that result come Tuesday night.
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