“This is very tempting. We can count. Half of the group is behind us, we have the full number of points. However, we know that we have to add some more, nine points is not enough. With Zagreb, we have the first chance to progress, I believe that we can handle the match,” says Pilsen coach Miroslav Koubek.
Victoria’s 100% point gain from the opening three games is already a record. No Czech team can be proud of this balance in this phase of the group stage (the current system UEFA launched in the Europa League from the 2009/2010 season, in the Conference League it was introduced immediately after its start two years ago). If Victoria managed to defeat the Croatian champion, she would have 12 points after four rounds, which would improve the domestic maximum by a full 3 points.
So far, Sparta (European League, autumn 2014 and 2017) and Pilsen (European League, autumn 2012) have won the most points from the first four matches, namely nine. In all three cases, however, Plzeň and Sparta secured promotion only in the final two rounds.
Of course, the Conference League is qualitatively the lowest of the three European club competitions, so it is naturally therefore the highest chance for Czech clubs to gain points. Logically the lowest in the Champions League (Pilsen did not score a single point in the group in the previous Champions League).
“It would of course be nice to advance ahead of time. But it would not be good to go to the field with a point cushion. We have to be determined, leave one hundred percent there,” says forward Tomáš Chorý, who received the prime minister’s invitation to the national team on Tuesday.
On Sunday, after nine years, the Victorians won against Slavia, they would like to carry the euphoria of the triumph into the battle with Zagreb. “In general, if the last match is successful, the team gets into a favorable psychological state. I hope that this experience will be confirmed,” believes Koubek.
On the other hand, the Croatian champion lost in the home competition at the weekend, saving a draw against Varaždin at the very end. “Dinamo, although equalized in the setup, was a level higher than the opponent. We know he’s not scoring that many goals now. It would be good if it lasted him. He’s missing the key striker Petkovič, but we have something similar,” Koubek points to the two injured strikers Durosinmi and Vydra.
Thursday’s match between Pilsen and Dinamo Zagreb will start at Doosan Asrén at 18.45.