Viktoria Plzen take on the visitors Qarabag in the second leg of UEFA Champions League qualification finals. First leg result: 0-0. The match will be played on Tuesday, August 23rd at Doosan Arena (Plzen).
Viktoria Plzen, after several years on 2nd roles, managed to win the title last season against the favorite, Slavia Prague. In addition, this allowed the wards of Michel Bilek to return to the Champions League qualification. The Red-Blues started very confidently, having won all 4 first qualifying matches. First, HJK was passed (2-1 and 5-0), then - Sheriff (twice 2-1). And only in Baku it was not possible to win. Moreover, the Czechs have chosen a rather pragmatic approach in Azerbaijan. As a result, they controlled the ball for about a third of the time and delivered only 1 aimed shot at opponents’ goal. On the other hand, everything ended in a draw - a strategically good result. But still, in order to get into the group round, they need to win. In Plzen, Viktoria will simply have to choose a different, more attacking version of football.
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Qarabag have already played in the group stage of the Champions League. And, of course, to return there is one of the main goals for the "steeds". Still, success in the domestic arena has long become something familiar. Yes, the team managed to lose the title the year before last, but then confidently returned the “gold”. And then she managed to qualify for the Champions League with dignity. Yes, it was not easy for the Azerbaijanis - they lost to Lech, and they had to score in extra time against Zurich. In the last qualifying round, Qarabag started with a draw with Ferencváros, but after that they won against Cherchesov's Hungarians in Budapest. This scenario is still being repeated today. Only if then it was 1-1, then last week, with Viktoria, the teams finished without goals. Yes, Gurban Gurbanov's wards had an advantage. But what if in the end it didn’t lead to anything - everything ended there with “zeros” on the scoreboard? On the other hand, the Transcaucasian club has shown more than once in the summer that it can achieve results away from home.
This is already the 3rd draw between the teams in the Champions League qualifiers. In 2016, it was 1-1 in Baku and 0-0 in Pilsen. Then it was enough for the success of "Viktoria" on the away goals rule. Bookmakers are waiting for the football fairy tale of Karabakh to end. They face strong opponent; besides, the game will be in the Czech Republic.
Prediction for the match: Viktoria Plzen to win.