Our football match prediction:
Despite playing out a goalless draw with Sporting in Lisbon, Steaua eventually failed to make it to the group stages of the Champions League. The Romanian side should be happy with participation in the Europa League and, no doubt, they are likely to fight tooth and nail in Thursday’s football match against Viktoria Plzen. Steaua have been producing fine performances in the national championship this term and they are definitely capable of recording yet another win over the Czech side. The Romanians outclassed Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League qualifiers earlier this season and they are likely to repeat the success. Steaua seem to be on top of their game at the moment and we predict that they are going to pick up all three points from their Europa League opener. Romanian attacker Denis Alibec is likely to lead the line for the hosts against Plzen and the opposition defenders should have him at bay.
Highlighted Player (Denis Alibec):
After starting his senior career at Farul Constanta, Denis Alibec joined Italian giants Inter in 2009, but he failed to establish himself as a first-team regular at the Serie A club. The Romanian attacker made no more than two appearances for the Nerazzurri in the Italian top flight and he was hungry for a first-team football. As a result, he signed a loan deal with Mechelen in 2011 and he spent the 2012/2013 season at Viitorul Constanta. Denis Alibec played one match for Bologna on loan as well and in 2014 he signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Astra Giurgiu. Alibec scored 32 goals in 64 appearances for the club before joining Steaua Bucharest in 2017. He has been playing for the Stelistii ever since and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals for the Romanian outfit in the 2016/2017 Liga 1 campaign. Denis Alibec made his debut for the Romania national football team on October 11, 2015 in an Euro 2016 qualifier against Faroe Islands.
Highlighted Team (Viktoria Plzen):
Despite being founded in 1911, Viktoria Plzen only won their first Czech First League trophy in 2011, with the team finishing the season just one point clear of Sparta Prague. The Viktorka continued to play an important role in Czech football and five years later they clinched their fourth domestic trophy. Plzen impressed in the 2015/2016 Czech First League, finishing the season seven points above second-placed Sparta Prague. In the 2009/2010 season the team won their first ever Czech Cup trophy, beating Jablonec in the title game. The Viktorka participated in the 2013/2014 Champions League group stages, but they failed to record a good result in the elite competition, picking up just three from possible 18 points in Group D. Doosan Arena is the home ground of Viktoria Plzen and the capacity of the stadium is 11 700. The venue was opened in 1955 and it was renovated twice (2003 and 2011). The likes of Miroslav Koubek, Pavel Vrba, Michal Bilek, Zdenek Michalek, Jaroslav Dockal, Milan Sip and Antonin Dvorak are some of the notable footballers who player for the club in the past.