Preview: Shkëndija vs. Red Bull Salzburg

The first part of the task was completed thanks to a Munas Dabbur brace and Diadie Samassékou’s first goal since his move to Europe in 2015, now, Red Bull Salzburg make a three-and-a-half hour flight to the Macedonia-Kosovo border to complete the job and set up a meeting with Red Star Belgrade or Spartak Trnava – who drew 1-1 last week – in the Champions League play-off round.

Despite an entertaining affair that saw two penalties, one red card, multiple saves from Cican Stanković and a Munas Dabbur Man of the Match performance, it was the torrential rain and thunderstorm that took centre stage at the Red Bull Arena. Initially wiping out the broadcasting from the 70th-minute onwards, the game momentarily came to a halt when the floodlights cut out, and when play resumed, the pitch was heavily waterlogged and barely playable. Had the fixture not been in its latter stages, it would most likely have been abandoned, undoing Die Roten Bullen’s hard work.

Domestic football in Macedonia began last weekend and the reigning champions started their title defence with a 2-2 draw at home with last season’s runners-up Vardar, while Red Bull Salzburg made their first push away from the competition with a 2-0 win over Austria Vienna to put them two points ahead of St. Pölten in second.

Amadou Haidara is available as he served his time last week, however, Zlatko Junuzović is sidelined after he received two yellows and a red in the first leg.

Match Information

Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Kick-off: 20:15 (CEST)

Venue: Ecolog Arena (capacity: 15,000)

Referee: Tamás Bognar (Hungary)

Broadcasting: Puls 4 (Austria)

Previous Meetings

08.08.18: Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 Shkëndija

Current Form

Shkëndija

The New Saints 4-0 (A) | Sheriff Tiraspol 1-0 (H) | Sheriff Tiraspol 0-0 (A) | Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 (A) | Vardar 2-2 (H)

Red Bull Salzburg

Çaykur Rizespor 5-2 (H) | LASK 3-1 (H) | Mattersburg 0-2 (A) | Shkëndija 3-0 (H) | Austria Vienna 2-0 (H)

Team News

Shkëndija

Injured: Marjan Radeski (knee ligament)

Red Bull Salzburg

Injured: Patrick Farkas (anterior cruciate ligament) | Fredrik Gulbrandsen (hamstring) | Alexander Walke (hip) | Kilian Ludewig (wound)

Absent: Hwang Hee-chan (international duty)

Suspended: Zlatko Junuzović

Predicted Line-ups

Shkëndija

Zahov

Bejtulai – Musliu – Adili – Murati

Alimi – Totre

Selmani – Nafiu – Júnior

Ibraimi

Red Bull Salzburg

Stanković

Lainer – Ramalho – Pongračić – Ulmer

Haidara – Samassékou – Mwepu

Wolf

Daka – Dabbur

Score Prediction

Shkëndija 0-3 Red Bull Salzburg

[Photo: GEPA Pictures/ Florian Ertl]

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