Champions League rivals: Viktoria Plzen

Champions League rivals: Viktoria Plzen

The team from the Czech Republic are the first opponents for Xavi Hernández's team in the group stage of the competition

A new edition of the UEFA Champions League is almost upon us with Barça's first game coming at the Spotify Camp Nou on 7 September at 9pm CEST. Their opponents will be Czech side Viktoria Plzen who have made it through no less than three qualifying rounds to make the group stage of the competition. Let's take a little look at the blaugranes visitors to the stadium on Match Day 1. 

Squad

Viktoria Plzen have brought in no less than 14 players this summer so far, including signings, free transfers and players returning from loan spells. 

The coach of the Czech side is Michal Bilek who took over in 2020. The former international played in the 1990 World Cup for Czechoslovakia and he also had a spell at La Liga side Betis as a player. A former Czech Republic national team coach, this is his third season as Viktoria boss. 

On the pitch, attacking midfielder Ales Cermark and fellow midfielders Pavel Bucha and Lukas Kalvach form a useful trio in the middle of the part for Plzen. 

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Up front, Colombian winger Jhon Mosquera, Jan Sykora and striker Thomas Chory are the attacking trident for Viktoria. After having lost last season's top scorer Beaguel in the summer, this season Mosquera is leading the way with seven goals and six assists. 

History 

The club was founded in 1911 and is now of the top teams in the Czech Republic. The club has also undergone several changes of name before reverting to its initial title of FC Viktoria Plzen in 1992. 

The club won their first league title in 2011 and since then they have repeated the feat on another five occasions. Plzen took the league title in 2022 and allowed them to make it to the Champions League qualifying were they saw off HJK Helsinki, Sherrif and Qarabag over two legs to make it to the group stage. 

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The last time Viktoria Plzen made it to the Champions League group stage was in the 2018/19 season. The Czechs finished third in their group behind Real Madrid and AS Roma and qualified to play in the Europa League. 

Head to head 

Barça have met Plzen on two occasions, in the group stages of the 2011/12 Champions League. Both matches ended in victories for the blaugranes in Group H. 

A 2-0 win at Camp Nou came courtesy of goals from Andrés Iniesta and David Villa. In the second game in the Czech Republic a hat-trick from Leo Messi and a goal from Cesc Fàbregas allowed Barça to take a 4-0 win on their way to topping the group. 

Stadium

Viktoria Plzen play their home games at the Doosan Arena, formerly known as the Stadion Mesta Plzne. The ground was opened in 1955 and currently has a capacity of 11,700. 

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Located in Strunc Park, where the rives Mze and Radbuza meet, it is where Barça will play their final group stage game of the Champions League on November 1. 

 

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