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Viktoria Plzen - Real Madrid

Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid: time to pave the way to Champions League last 16

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News | 07/11/2018 | Javier García (Plzen)

Victory over the Czech outfit would edge the side a step closer to securing their passage and confirm the European champion's current winning run of form.
We're now entering the business end of the Champions League group stage. Real Madrid, who begin Matchday 4 joint top of the group alongside Roma, are tonight looking to take a giant step towards the round of 16 as the winners of the last three editions of the competition make their first-ever competitive visit to Viktoria Plzen (9pm CET). As well as going in search of three crucial points, the madridistas will be aiming to build on the positives from their two most recent outings.
 
The Copa del Rey triumph over Melilla and victory in LaLiga over Valladolid served to kick-start a run that the Whites are keen to extend in the Champions League. Speaking in the build-up, Santiago Solari, who is poised for his first European game at the helm, insisted, "We'll have to produce a disciplined and well-organised performance, just as we have in our last two games". The Argentine coach has travelled with a 20-man squad to Plzen. Jesús  Vallejo, Raphaël VaraneMarianoMarcelo and Dani Carvajal continue to be ruled out throughout injury, whilst Castilla centre-back Javi Sánchez has been drafted in to offer cover in defence.

TONIGHT'S MATCH SEES REAL MADRID BEGIN A SEQUENCE OF FOUR AWAY GAMES.

Viktoria Plzen's Doosan Arena is set to play host to Real Madrid for the first time in what's a major sporting event for the city. We have to go back to November 2001, in the season that saw Madrid capture the club's ninth European crown, for the team's last trip to the Czech Republic. On that occasion, the Whites ran out 3-2 runners over Sparta Prague and Solari featured in the squad that night.

The opposition
Whilst Viktoria Plzen are yet to have won a game in this season's Champions League, they already proved at the Bernabéu just what a dangerous side they are. After drawing against CSKA and suffering defeats against Roma and Real Madrid, the reigning Czech champions will be gunning to secure a victory in front of their fans to keep their qualification hopes alive. In their quest to do so, coach Pavel Vrba will have to do without the team's leading light in attack, Michal Krmencik, who misses out through injury. The Champions League returns and Real Madrid are raring to take another step towards the last 16.

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