Qarabag clash with Viktoria Plzen in UCL playoff first leg

    Qarabağ FK vs Viktoria Plzen - 17/08/2022

    Qarabag clash with Viktoria Plzen in UCL playoff first leg
    16/08/22 7797

    Perennial Azerbaijan champions Qarabag host Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday night in the first leg of their Champions League playoff round tie.

    Viktoria Plzen are the reigning Czech Republic champions while Qarabag are coming off of winning the Azerbaijan league last season. Both sides are just two matches away from reaching the Champions League group stage, which is not an easy feat for these clubs.

    The Czechs joined the Champions League in the second qualifying round. Viktoria Plzen defeated Finland’s HJK 7-1 on aggregate before downing Sheriff Tiraspol in the third qualifying round.

    Viktoria Plzen have started the Czech domestic league and have begun the campaign well. Plzen have taken seven points from nine on offer in the Czech 1. Liga and are coming off of a 2-1 away win against Hradec Kralove.

    Qarabag started their Champions League journey in the first qualifying round. They defeated Polish side Lech Poznan 5-1 over two legs. Qarabag then defeated FC Zurich thanks an extra-time goal in the second leg after the series finished 4-4 at the end of 180 minutes.

    A 4-1 win over two legs against Ferencvaros took place in the third qualifying round to set up this week’s playoff round first leg tie with Viktoria Plzen.

    Qarabag and Viktoria Plzen met in the 2016-17 Champions League qualifying rounds with the latter going through thanks to the now defunct away goals rule.

    The Azerbaijan team is coming off of a 2-0 win over Sumgayit on the domestic front. Manager Qurban Qurbanov used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Sumgayit and he should use it once again.

    Qurbanov doesn’t seem to have any new injury issues heading into the game. Centre-forward Musa Qurbanly scored at the weekend and will likely start the fixture in midweek.

    Viktoria Plzen manager Michal Bilek used a 4-4-2 formation in the third qualifying round versus Sheriff Tiraspol.

    Bilek will likely have Jan Kliment starting in the two-man frontline. He scored an important goal against Sheriff Tiraspol in the second leg of the third qualifying round. Kliment has two goals in the Champions League qualifying rounds.

    Both Qarabag and Viktoria Plzen are from smaller leagues in UEFA. Despite their size and lack of stature, these teams are just two games away from the financially lucrative group stage.

    Neither side will want to lose the tie in the first leg. Qarabag and Viktoria Plzen should finish the first leg tied with the match ending 2-2. Kliment and Qurbanly could get on the scoresheet for their respective teams.

    Home team
    Away team
    Probability %
    Correct score
    Avg. goals
    Weather conditions
    2 - 2
    2.30 3.10 3.10 no no no
    0 - 0(0 - 0)
    - - -