Preview: Red Bull Salzburg vs. Shkëndija

It was a record-breaking showing in Europe last season for Red Bull Salzburg. Exceeding the round of 16 for the first time in the Red Bull era, an appearance in the final came within touching distance but it was snatched away in semi-final extra-time by Olympique Marseille. Now, with that in the past, it is time to create another piece of history as Die Roten Bullen make the first step towards their place in the Champions League group stage for the first time with a third qualifying round first leg tie versus Macedonian champions Shkëndija.

This week’s guests came to the wider public’s attention last season when they came up against AC Milan in the Europa League play-off round. The Italian club has a large fan base in Tetovo and in 1993/94 Shkëndija wore Milan’s 1992/93 kit as their sponsor at the time was a Milan fan and wanted the club to wear the kit with the Motta sponsorship.

Shkëndija began their season at the start of July when they came up against The New Saints in the first qualifying round and were almost on the wrong end of an emphatic comeback. Travelling to Wales with a five-goal cushion, the Welsh side were able to close the deficit to two, scoring thrice in the opening 35 minutes. However, Shkëndija held on and conceded just one more in the last minute to progress, where they then defeated Sheriff Tiraspol on aggregate to scrape through once again.

At the weekend it was late and it was great against Mattersburg. Dominating possession for the whole match as the home side sat back and made life difficult, in the 93rd minute, after being mockingly told to shoot by the Mattersburg faithful, André Ramalho attained the ball 25 yards from goal and unleashed a shot that caught the goalkeeper off guard, bounced off both posts and into the back of the net, silencing the home crowd. A minute later, Munas Dabbur doubled the lead after a wayward pass fell to his feet and he slotted it past the oncoming goalkeeper to secure all three points.

Red Bull Salzburg will be without Amadou Haidara on Wednesday due to a suspension he picked up in last season’s Europa League semi-final second leg.

Match Information

Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Kick-off: 19:00 (CEST)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan)

Broadcasting: Puls 4 (Austria)

Current Form

Red Bull Salzburg

Stade Rennes 3-0 (H) | Oedt 0-6 (A) | Çaykur Rizespor 5-2 (H) | LASK 3-1 (H) | Mattersburg 0-2 (A)

Shkëndija

Vorskla Poltava 1-3 (A) | The News Saints 5-0 (H) | The New Saints 4-0 (A) | Sheriff Tiraspol 1-0 (H) | Sheriff Tiraspol 0-0 (A)

Team News

Red Bull Salzburg

Injured: Patrick Farkas | Fredrik Gulbrandsen | Kilian Ludewig | Alexander Walke

Suspended: Amadou Haidara

Shkëndija

Injured: Marjan Radeski

Predicted Line-ups

Red Bull Salzburg

Stanković

Lainer – Ramalho – Onguéné – Ulmer

Mwepu – Junuzović – Schlager

Wolf

Daka – Prevljak

Shkëndija

Zahov

Bejtulai – Musliu – Adili – Murati

Alimi – Totre

Selmani – Emini – Júnior

Ibraimi

Score Prediction

Red Bull Salzburg 4-0 Shkëndija

[Photo: Getty Images]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s