Victoria Plzen vs Sporting CP is going to be held this Thursday as the Czech club Viktoria Plzen will host Portuguese club Sporting CP in the second leg of UEFA Europa League- Round of 16. The game is scheduled to start at 6:00 GMT, on 15th of March, at Doosan Arena Plzen.
The visitors will be flying high with the 2-0 first leg victory over their opponents, last week. Sporting CP absolutely dominated the home fixture causing lots of trouble for their opponents.
The Portuguese club maintained 61% possession in the game and took 21 shots over 90 minutes period. Forward Fredy Montero showed stellar of the performance, scoring both goals for the home side.
Sporting CP are enjoying their league outing. They are placed at the 3rd place in the league table and are trying to snatch the 2nd position at least, for Champions League qualification.
The Dutch striker Bas Dost has been performing tremendously for them, scoring 20 league goals so far. With a 2-0 advantage in their hands, Sporting CP will surely look forward to disappointing their opponent and book their place in the last eight.
On the other hand, Viktoria Plzen will come into this game with little hopes following the first leg defeat. The poor performance away from home has unsettled their nerves, as they look down and out before the second leg fixture.
However, Viktoria sit comfortably at the top of the table in the on-going league. They have undoubtedly booked their place in the next year’s Champions League qualification, considering no further setback.
Key Players to Watch
The only chance for Viktoria Plzen to turn the tie in their favor is the sublime performance of their marquee man Krmencik.
With 4 goals so far in the Europa League, the front-man surely holds a promising key for the sunken hosts. The quality possessed by this star forward was nowhere to be seen in the reverse fixture.
With pure quality in front of goal, Krmencik definitely needs to gather his composure and lead his team in search of a glorious comeback.
It is evident that the Colombian striker Montero holds a key for his team in the quest for the quarterfinal berth. Coming to this match with 2 first leg goals, the terrific striker will pose an impeccable threat to the home side.
Montero has looked solid in his position with great game awareness and quality scoring skills. It will be an uphill task for Viktoria’s back-line to stop the forward’s resilience.
Head to Head
The last week’s first leg fixture was the first time these two clubs met in the European competition. With Sporting CP registering a comfortable 2-0 win on their home soil, it is safe to say that the Portuguese team hold a slight advantage over their rivals.
Manager Pavel Vrba is expected to make changes in his starting lineup in the hopes of an incredible comeback.
Midfielder Petrzela, who underperformed in the first leg, could miss out the second leg. His absence may give the opportunity to Tomas Chory for showing his quality.
Manager Jorge Jesus will look to intact with the winning team. Defenders Pinto and Piccini are still sidelined due to injury.
The defense looked rock-solid in the reverse fixture, so we expect the same combination at the back. Striker Montero, who took Sporting CP one step closer to the quarterfinal place, will look to lead the pack in the away fixture.
Viktoria Plzen vs Sporting Lineup (Predicted XI)
Viktoria Plzen Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Defenders: Reznik (RB), Hejda (RCB), Hubnik (LCB), Limbersky (LB)
Midfielders: Horava (RDM), Hrosovsky (LDM), Chory (RM), Kolar (CM), Zeman (LM)
Sporting Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Defenders: Ristovski (RB), Coates (RCB), Mathieu (LCB), Coentrao (LB)
Midfielders: Carvalho (RDM), Fernandes (LDM), Martins (RM), Ruiz (CM), Acuna (LM)
Viktoria Plzen vs Sporting Prediction
Sporting CP will travel to Doosan Arena Plzen with thoroughly dominant performance in the first leg. It is just a matter of time before the Portuguese side make into the last eight.
On the other hand, Viktoria, with the home advantage, have it all to do if they are going to overturn the deficit and reach the quarterfinal stage.
We predict a 2-1 victory for the traveling side, which will see them qualify for the last eight with 4-1 aggregate win.