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Académica require success in Plzeň test

Tuesday 13 November 2012 12.05 CET
Académica's Edinho (right) helped end Atlético's record winning run on matchday four

A. Académica de Coimbra beat the holders last time out but must win against FC Viktoria Plzeň if they are to have a chance of qualifying from UEFA Europa League Group B.

• Académica are five points adrift of second-placed Plzeň and will be eliminated along with back markers Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC if they fail to beat the Czech side. Plzeň, on the other hand, only need to avoid defeat to go through.

Previous meetings
• Plzeň came from behind to win 3-1 when the sides met on matchday one. Wilson Eduardo put Académica ahead against the run of play, but second-half strikes from Pavel Horváth, Michal Ďuriš and František Rajtoral rounded off a commanding display. Neither team had previously faced outfits from their opponent's country.

• In the 22 UEFA competition meetings between clubs from the two nations, Czech sides have the upper hand with the record W10 D5 L7 (W7 D3 L1 at home; W3 D2 L6 in Portugal). In addition, Vitória SC beat FC Baník Ostrava 2-1 on aggregate in the 1969/70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League.

Match background
• Académica's 2-0 win against Club Atlético de Madrid on matchday four was their first victory in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League, and matched their best ever European result – a 2-0 win against 1. FC Magdeburg in the European Cup Winners' Cup second round in October 1969.

• That victory also ended the holders' record-breaking run of 16 straight European victories.

• Plzeň have yet to record a draw away from home in 14 European encounters, with their record on the road so far reading W7 D0 L7.

Team facts
• Plzeň's next goal will be their 50th in UEFA club competition; this will be their 29th UEFA game.

• Plzeň's midfield stalwart Horváth played for Sporting Clube de Portugal from 2000-01 but did not win a regular first-team place.

• Born in Angola, ex-defender Pedro Emanuel helped Boavista FC win their only league title in 2000/01, before he claimed five more titles as a player with FC Porto, as well as the 2002/03 UEFA Cup and 2003/04 UEFA Champions League. Assistant to André Villas-Boas at Porto in 2010/11, he took sole command of Académica the following season, and guided the side to Portuguese Cup glory – their first trophy since 1939.

• Pavel Vrba's career as a defender peaked with spells at RH Cheb and FC Baník Ostrava in the 1980s. After coaching the national Under-20 side, he was assistant to František Komňacký as Baník won the Czech title in 2004, before winning the Slovakian crown at MŠK Žilina (2006/07) and moving on to Plzeň in 2008. He won the Czech Cup in his second season and the league title in his third, in 2010/11, then marshalled their progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage the following campaign.

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