Plzen Schalke Odds: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar backed to show class in Europa League

Despite starting this season in the Champions’ League, Viktoria Plzen probably will not be one of the favourites to go on and win the Europa League.

Until just a couple of seasons ago, the Czech club were relatively unheard of to most European football fans. Their most notable moment had been in losing 7-1 on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1971.

However, having shared a pretty daunting group with AC Milan, Barcelona and BATE Borisov, Plzen eventually crashed out of this season’s Champions’ League.

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Now they find themselves involved in another huge fixture, and another that many punters would give them very little chance of winning as they take on the German side Schalke 04.

Last season Schalke found themselves involved in a Champions’ League clash with Manchester United, which was remembered not entirely for their team performance, but the heroics of their then goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

He has since left the club for bigger and better things with Bayern Munich, but Schalke still find themselves battling at the right end of the table, and currently occupy the final Champions’ League qualification place in the Bundesliga.

Viktoria Plzen have not played since their 2-2 draw in the final group game of the Champions’ League.

Schalke, however, have been involved in domestic action, including a dismal 3-0 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach in their last outing.

Although this will be the first time the two sides have met, Schalke have come up against Czech opposition on a number of occassions. They remain unbeaten in the country since 1998 and will be hoping to build on their record of won five, lost two, drawn one.

With the last 16 being drawn at the same time as the round of 32, these two sides already know that the winner will get the chance to play either FC Twente or Steaua Bucureşti in the next round.

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