Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Match Preview: Viktoria Plzeň vs Manchester City

Kompany expected to return for City's first Champions League game

By Aaron Leggott

City have travelled to Eastern Europe for their first Champions League game of the season with a big boost after it was announced that Vincent Kompany is set to return to the side to face Viktoria Plzeň, the current Czech champions.

Most are predicting a comfortable victory for Manuel Pellegrini's men, but with Plzeň still yet to lose after eight domestic games, City might be in for quite a shock in the Czech Republic.

The task will not be made any easier as defenders Gaël Clichy and Micah Richards are doubtful, whilst new signing Martin Demichelis misses out once again thanks to a knee injury.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

David Silva is also rated as 50/50 ahead of the clash, with many predicting the Spaniard to only predicted to make the bench with an important Manchester derby looming on the horizon this weekend.

Along with their impressive domestic record this season, Plzeň dismantled Slovenian side NK Maribor in the Champions League play off's to secure their second group stage appearance in three years. 

Under the guidance of Pavel Vrba, Plzeň have created a brilliant side and have consistently threatened the dominance of Sparta Prague in the Gambrinus Liga since Vrba's appointment in 2008. 

And whilst the challenge of Viktoria could prove much easier than the likes of CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich in the coming months, Manuel Pellegrini has warned his team not to take the game for granted after his unfancied Málaga side reached the quarter finals last season.

He said: ""It would be a big mistake to think that playing a team with less history in Europe would be easier to play.

"Last season when the draw took place AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg were happy to be drawn against Malaga and they felt they'd already qualified for the next round.

"It has been three years now that the club hasn't done well in Europe, and I think that if we want to qualify, we have to respect Viktoria Plzeň, CSKA Moscow, and Bayern Munich the same way, and will try to put in our best performance to beat them."

Below is a video of some of the Champions League's best goals last season:

My thoughts

There are many City fans believing this to be an easy game and I think they'll be in for quite a shock. Plzen have proven in the past few years that they are no pushovers, and proved it last season with an impressive aggregate victory over Europa League opponents Napoli before crashing out at the last 16 against Fenerbache. 

Of course, the draw has been kinder to us when compared to the last two years, but I'm hoping that the team doesn't take this game for granted. We have had a slow start to the season and if we were to beat both Viktoria and Manchester United in the next week, it could really kick start our season back into shape. Come on City!!

Prediction: Plzen 1 - 2 City

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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