Plzen looks to keep European hopes alive

BY foxsports • November 22, 2011

Plzen midfielder Daniel Kolar insists Wednesday night's Champions League visit to BATE Borisov is an important match for his side as they look to keep alive hopes of remaining in Europe.

With Barcelona and AC Milan doing battle for top spot in Group H, neither Kolar's side nor their opponents can make it through to the next round, but third place offers the consolation of a Europa League spot.

BATE can ensure that goes to them with victory on home turf, but Plzen would leapfrog their opponents with a win of their own.

With both sides conceding nine goals in four games to date - the joint highest in the group stages of this year's competition along with Dinamo Zagreb and Villarreal - it should at least be an open encounter.

Kolar told his club's official website: "For us it is a very important match, because want to play for third place and advance (to the Europa League) which is what we looked at before the start of the group.

"I think it will be a a slightly different game than the first. We will see but I think I'll be nervous, just as I am before every other game.

"They are very well prepared physically, they have much experience with their playing style and they are also technically good. In attack they have Mateja Kezman, who is a tremendous player, so they are certainly no easy opponent.

"We would like for our fans to come. Certainly it is not as attractive as the trips to Milan or Barcelona, that is well understood, but I hope that, although there will be few, we will hear them and they will support us."

Plzen's prospects have been hit by Marian Cisovsky's suspension following his dismissal against Barca, but Kolar is confident there is enough strength in depth to cover his absence.

"It is a pity that Marian can not play, but on the other hand, I think whoever takes over from him will do the same job. They must be ready and I believe that they will be ready."

The sides drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture in September and a similar result this time would keep BATE one point above Plzen with a game to go.

BATE will break the Belarusian record for European appearances, with this their 85th match but approach the game on the back of their first defeat in the league this season.

Saturday saw them turned over 2-1 at home by Dnepr Mogilev, just a second defeat in 23 matches in all competitions.

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