After the last two defeats in Liberec and against Karvina, when they did not score a goal, Plzeň dropped to fifth place. They lose eleven points to the leaders Slavia, they still have a postponed playoff in Mladá Boleslav.
Home team Slavia is expected to dominate, as they hold the ball 63.1 percent of the time on average in the league. Viktoria is third in this indicator (56.1 percent) and, for example, in the match at Sparta, they had the ball under control for exactly half of the time.
Coach Miroslav Koubek’s team certainly does not look defensive, after Sparta they scored the second highest number of goals together with Mlada Boleslaví (30). So he averages 2.5 goals per game, while xG (a metric of expected goals to chances created) is “only” 1.88 goals per game, according to footystats.org. In this respect, Pilsen is going above and beyond the plan. It is interesting that she scored six goals in the 45th minute or setting of the first half.
Slavia is not nearly as productive, scoring 24 goals, which is an average of 1.8 goals per game. At the same time, it has the highest xG metric of all league teams – 2.19. So Slavia created such chances that they should have scored more goals, roughly four to five. His shooting success rate is average in the league (11.1 percent).
An interesting fact is that coach Jindřich Trpišovský’s team scored seven times in the first quarter of an hour of the second half. This is how he decided, for example, matches in Mladá Boleslav, with Baník Ostrava or saved a draw in Jablonec. Perhaps an even more surprising fact is that the seamers have not scored a headed goal in the ongoing league season.
In connection with Slavia, the help of the bench is often mentioned, the substitute players scored six goals (three of them as a joker Mojmír Chytil. In theory, the own goal of Boleslav’s Florent Poulol, who was strongly pressured by the substitute Muhamed Tijani, can also be counted.
Slavia conceded only 7 goals, by far the fewest of all teams in the Fortuna League. One of the reasons is the excellent success in defensive duels – they took the stitching to 65.1 percent, which is also the best number of all. Second Slovácko has 63.7 percent. Pilsen is ninth (60.6 percent).
Igoh Ogbu rules Slavia’s defense, he controlled 85.4 percent of his defensive duels. No one who is in a similar permanence is better. Otherwise, the stoppers of both opponents are quite balanced, they are around 70 percent: stitched Tomáš Vlček (74.1 percent), Tomáš Holeš (70 percent), Pilsen’s Robin Hranáč (74.3 percent), Sampson Dweh (71.2 percent). Pilsen’s Lukáš Hejda lags behind (46.3 percent of defensive battles won).
In any case, the clashes between defenders and attackers will be interesting on both sides. Slavia’s offense is regularly rotating. In all competitions, forwards Václav Jurečka played the most minutes (1059 minutes), Mick van Buren 878, Mojmír Chytil 814 and Muhamed Tijani 687. All are permanent. The most productive player of the stitched team is Chytil (4 goals and 2 assists).
Plzeň has a problem, Rafiu Durosinmi, who is currently the most productive player in the league (6 goals and 5 assists), was dropped due to an unpleasant knee injury. Koubek used him the most, the 20-year-old Nigerian played 1219 minutes in all competitions this season. Tomáš Chorý (1184) follows. Matěj Vydra and Jan Kliment were not in the team as much (557 minutes and 477).
The key figure of Koubka’s group is Lukáš Kalvach, who has so far only missed the cup match in Mariánské Lázně. Otherwise, he jumped into all other twenty-one competitive games in the season, scoring 3 goals and 6 assists in them. He distributes the ball, controls the game, has a passing success rate of 81.7 percent in the league, distributed 71 passes into the opponent’s penalty area. His coverage will be one of the important tasks for Slavia.