Plzeň will start the qualification of the Conference League at home with Kosovo's Drita

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Pilsen at home with Kosovo's Drita will start the qualification of the Conference League

Media program before the opening match 2 . preliminaries of the football European conference league Viktoria Pilsen – Drita: training Pilsen, July 26, 2023 Pilsen.

Plzeň – After the unexpected opening league defeat 0:1 in Teplice, Pilsen footballers will try to start the cup season better. On Thursday, the West Bohemians will play a double match at home in the 2nd preliminary round of the European Conference League against Kosovar outsider Drita. The match at Doosan Arena kicks off at 19:00.

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On Saturday, during the renewed competition premiere of coach Miroslav Koubek in Teplice, Pilsen lost both in terms of play and results. In addition, captain and stopper Lukáš Hejda resigned due to an ankle injury, whose start on Thursday is uncertain. Even midfielder Roman Květ didn't finish the match, who expanded the numerous squad. Defenders Milan Havel, Luděk Pernica and Filip Čihák are also out for a long time, the extreme all-rounder Cadu also had health problems. more aggressive, Teplice surpassed us in that,” said Koubek at the press conference.

He had previously compared Drita to another Kosovar team, Ballkani, who played Slavia in the third group of the highest club competition last year. “They are a team on the level of Ballkani. This troubled Slavia, who won 1:0 in Kosovo and 3:2 at home. Ballkani won the first place in the (Kosovo League) table and had only three points more than Drita,” pointed out Koubek.< /p>

“It is an organized team, well-set defensively, plays on breaks. That will probably be the image of the game in Doosan Arena. I was surprised by the careful organization of their defense, which is very good,” added the 71-year-old coach.

During his previous engagement with Pilsen, Koubek led the team in two cup duels in 2015. Viktoria then won 2:1 in the 3rd preliminary round of the Champions League at Maccabi Tel Aviv, but unexpectedly lost the home rematch 0:2 and was eliminated. The experienced coach was fired shortly afterwards.

Viktoria returned to the group stage of the cups last year after a three-year absence. Still under coach Michal Bílek, they sensationally passed from the second preliminary round to the elite group of the Champions League, even though they finished last without a point in the competition of giants Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Barcelona. In the preliminaries, however, Pilsen is on an eight-game winning streak at home.

Drita has never played the main stage of any UEFA competition before. The Kosovo vice-champions have not yet started the new league year, they lost 0:2 to Craiova and 0:1 to another Romanian team Iasi in the warm-up, then defeated Vllaznia Požeran 6:0 and drew with another Kosovar rival Pristina 1:1.

“Pilsen will be a very difficult opponent. In recent years, they have played in the cup group and performed excellently against strong teams. But why can't we surprise them? Everyone knows that we are not the favorite, but we will fight with all our might for our chance,” said Greek coach Drity Akis Vavalis.

p>Referee: Nalbandjan – Kazarjan, Hovhannisjan (all Arm.).


CR (Czechoslovakia) – Kosovo: 2 2-0-0 4:2.


2022/23 EKL: Slavia Praha – Ballkani 3:2, 1:0.

Note: The overview does not include the matches of the Trade Fair Cup and the Intertoto Cup.

Estimated lineups:

Pilsen: Staněk – Rezník, Hejda, Jemelka, Sýkora – Bucha, Kalvach – Kopic, Vydra, Vlkanova – Chorý.

Drita: Smakiqi – Krasniqi , Salihu, Vitija, Thaqi – Broja, Baftiu – Selmani, Jashari, Prapashtica – Ajzeraj.

Absence: Čihák, Havel, Květ, Pernica (all injured), Cadu, Hejda (both uncertain start) – Maloku (injury).

Interesting points:

– another Kosovar club Ballkani faced Slavia in last year's Conference League group, Prague won 3:2 at home and 1:0 away

– Pilsen returned to the cup group last season after a three-year absence, in the Champions League against Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Barcelona lost all 6 matches

– Plzeň in the preliminary rounds of the European Cups (all in LM qualification) did not lose the last 6 matches and won 5 of them

– Plzeň at home in in the preliminary rounds of the European Cups, she won 8 games in a row

– Drita has never progressed to a group stage in UEFA competitions, the furthest they reached was the 3rd preliminary round of the Europa League, where they lost to Legia Warsaw in 2020

– Drita won only one of the last 6 cup matches

– Drita has not won 3 times in a row away from home (including 2 defeats)

– Plzeň took third place in the Czech league last season, Drita finished second in Kosovo's top competition

– Plzeň entered the new league season on Saturday with a surprising 0:1 defeat in Teplice

– Drita has not yet started the new year of the Kosovo League, in the summer training it lost to Craiova 0:2 and to another Romanian team Iasi 0:1, then beat Vllaznia Požeran 6:0 and drew with another Kosovar opponent Priština 1:1

– coach Koubek led Plzeň in 2 cup matches in 2015 during his previous engagement, when Viktoria in the 3rd preliminary round of the LM at Maccabi Tel Aviv won 2:1, but lost the return match at home 0:2 and was eliminated

– advancing in the 3rd preliminary round will face the winner of the fight between Malta's Gzira and Luxembourg's Dudelange

– Plzeň needs to advance to the group eliminate three opponents