sport

Plzen v CSKA Moscow preview

Pavel Vrba is hoping to bow out as coach of Viktoria Plzen on a high by leading them into the Europa League on Tuesday.

Vrba is set to take up the position of Czech Republic coach at the conclusion of Plzen's Champions League campaign, which will follow the home clash with CSKA Moscow.

The former MSK Zilina boss has presided over almost six years of unprecedented success at the Doosan Arena and will be hoping his players can edge above CSKA and into third place in Group D by beating the Russians by a greater margin than their 3-2 loss in the return fixture.

"We have a great chance to get through to the Europa League," he said in remarks reported by www.sportovninoviny.cz.

"It'll be exciting and I hope the fans enjoy the game.

"Hopefully we will say goodbye to the autumn with a victory. I will do my best for it."

Vrba celebrated his 50th birthday on Friday but defender David Limbersky admitted present-giving was not high on the agenda.

"There was not much time to get a gift," he said.

"We think only about football. We face one of the most important games of the season.

"Therefore, we want to give the coach a special gift by progressing through to the Europa League in the spring."

A win appears a long shot for Plzen given the fact they have yet to record a point in a group also containing defending champions Bayern Munich and big-spending Manchester City.

CSKA have also struggled to make an impression with their sole triumph coming against Plzen in October.

The Muscovites are likely to be without key striker Seydou Doumbia and defensive lynchpin Vasili Berezutski for the trip to the Czech Republic.

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda is also set to play his final game for the club before an anticipated move to AC Milan in the January transfer window.