Viktoria Plzen vs Roma
UEFA Europa League – Group Stage
Date: Thursday, 15th September, 2016,
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Doosan Arena, Plzen.
The defending Czech Champions Viktoria Plzen start their Europa League campaign with a home game against Serie A giants AS Roma.
Plzen failed to go beyond the group phase in the last season and were desperate for a better outing this time. They managed just one win from their 6 matches last term, losing 4 during the process. Their best run in the tournament is the round of 16 appearance in 2013/14 and 2012/13. They earned a place in the Europa League group stage after losing to Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions play-off.
AS Roma found the way to the group stages of Europa League after a disappointing 3-0 home defeat in the Champions League play-off tie against FC Porto. In the last season, they entered the round of 32 in Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group. They were eliminated at the round of 16 by domestic rivals Fiorentina.
Viktoria Plzen vs Roma: Head-to-Head Stats
The only previous meeting between these two teams so far was in a club friendly on August 2009 which ended in a 1-1 draw. And Thursday’s Europa League fixture will be their first ever meeting in a competitive match.
Plzen have won in 2, drawn 1 and lost 1 in their four previous fixtures with Serie A opponents. They are unbeaten in Czech Republic with a win and a draw. And their latest meeting was with SS Napoli in the round of 32 of 2012/13 Europa League which resulted in a 5-0 aggregate win.
Roma had met a Czech opposition only once, during the 1995/96 UEFA Cup quarter-finals against Sparta Prague. They lost the tie on away goals rule after losing 2-0 in Czech Republic and winning 3-1 in Rome.
Viktoria Plzen vs Roma: Prediction
Viktoria Plzen had a forgettable 2015/16 season where they failed to make it out of their group phase. They are doing relative well in their domestic league at the moment. But they haven’t won in any of their last 5 matches in the qualifying stages. They draws their last 2 home matches, while lost the 3 away matches.
Roma have started their domestic season well and have already scored 10 games from their first three matches. They should get past their Thursday’s opposition, even if Luciano Spalletti decides to field a weaker squad.
Viktoria Plzen vs Roma: Betting Tips
Roma to win at 2.00 (1/1)
Over 2.5 goals at 1.95 (10/11).