Plzen vs Academica by DamirJ
Viktoria Plzen is coming from a 1:0 victory in a derby game against Sparta Prague last weekend. It was a deserved win taken from the penalty kick in 40th minute by Horvath. That victory saw them being first at the table, with the same number of points as Sparta.
Coming from an important victory in the domestic league will surely help their players to boast the morale in front of the Europa League opening game against the Portuguese side. They have five wins, one draw and one loss in the domestic league, also having the best attack in the league and the second best defensive line-up in the league. They had to reach Europa League defeating Metalurg Ruustavi, Ruch Chorzov and Lokeren, showing especially great spirit and experience winning against Lokeren.
Everyone in the club is very well aware of the fact that they must perform well at home, if they are keep their hopes of progressing to the next stage. With the last season's experience in Champions League, the coach is positive that they will get the qualification for the Spring and that they know what to do in order to reach it. Hosts are missing offensive midfielder Daniel Kolar and striker Michal Duris.
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Academica, on the other side, didn't start the season as they have planned. However, having in mind that they didn't finish in previous two seasons at the better position than one place above the relegation places and that they reached Europa League by winning the Portuguese Cup - there isn't much for them to hope for in the domestic league.
The start of the season saw them drawing all three matches they played as Rio Ave, Olhanense and Beira Mar were their opponents - surely not the top of the Portuguese football. Additionally, they have lost in the League Cup game two weeks ago against Sporting Covilha 0:2, second league team. Lack of pace was visible in their matches so far, while lack of experience is another negative factor for their side in the Europa League as this game is their first European game after 40 years. Helder Cabral, first choice left back didn't travel for this game, just as midfielder Cleyton who are both injured. Same goes for long term injured players: Carlos Saleiro and N'Gal strikers and defender Joao Real.
Home side already produced some great offensive performances this season, just like they did in previous season in Champions League. Surely they are big favorites in front of this game as they are hosting inexperienced, less than mediocre team from Portuguese league that are missing a few important players.
Bet: Viktoria Plzen @1.76 with Pinnacle Sports