Champions League Preview: Viktoria Plzeň vs. Manchester City

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Updated: September 11, 2013
Napoli's challenges from Viktoria Plzen during their Europa League round 32 second leg soccer match in Plzen, Czech Republic, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Czech league champions Viktoria Plzeň and English football betting frontrunners Manchester City will be marking their debut in the group round of this season’s Champions League on September 17. The Czech side will play as home, with the Doosan Arena chosen as the venue. The eventual champions will have the chance to compete in the Round of 16 stage.

 

Viktoria Plzeň continue making landmarks

Viktoria Plzeň’s current Champions League form may seem daunting to many other clubs, with their six most recent matches all finishing with flying colors.  The side emerged dominant over Željezničar during the second qualifying round, having thrashed their opponents in a massive 6-4 aggregate finish. This was later followed by another victory in the third qualifying stage, with shy Nõmme Kalju succumbing to the Czech powerhouse in a bulky 2-10 conclusion. In the playoffs, Pavel Vrba’s men managed to outclass Maribor in both the first and second legs. The Czech Liga is another platform where Viktoria Plzeň are displaying aggressiveness, having finished four out of their five most recent matches victorious.

 

Manchester City have to tow more efforts

Manchester City’s performance in the tournament last season was mediocre at best. Their last five tourneys did not even give them a single victory. While three draws may seem acceptable, defeats incurred from Ajax 1-3 and Borussia Dortmund 0-1 were utter disappointments. In fact, even in the side’s Premier League campaign for the new season, their current streak is far from being perfect. They started their crusade genuinely strong with a win over Newcastle United 4-0; but Manuel Pellegrini’s players were later knocked down in their second stint after opponents Cardiff City earned three consecutive goals between the 60th and 87th minutes. Negredo’s final goal was not even enough to seal the match in a draw.

 

The likely match outcome

Czech Republic and England’s top clubs are eager to earn a place in the highly regarded continental competition. For Viktoria Plzeň, triumph will potentially be within arm’s reach; but for Manchester City, a stronger drive might still be needed. The Czech club will finish this match in a 2-1 home success.

 

Viktoria Plzeň  | Image source: mcfc.co.uk