Preview: Red Star Belgrade vs. Red Bull Salzburg

Eleven consecutive years without success, qualification for the Champions League group phase has been the bane of the Red Bull era. Falling short at this stage on the last four occasions, the fans and everyone involved will be hoping to break this voodoo, but in their way stands a club with European pedigree that has had difficulties in recent times: Red Star Belgrade.

A trip to Serbia has never been considered easy, no matter how composed or experienced the person in question is. Red Star, in particular, possesses one of the most intimidating atmospheres in European football. Fortunately, Salzburg will not have to face the thunderous noise and pyrotechnics at the Rajko Mitić Stadium as the first leg will be played behind-closed-doors after the club was sanctioned by UEFA for racist chants against Sūduva Marijampolė in the second round of qualifying.

Like Red Bull Salzburg, Red Star Belgrade have started their domestic campaign with four wins on the bounce and have conceded just once. While their guests came out 2-0 victors against Hartberg with a rotated line-up at the weekend, Red Star were granted permission to postpone their tie against Napredak Kruševac in order to have more preparation time for this fixture.

In the previous round, after being held to a 1-1 draw at home, Red Star found themselves behind in the opening stages of the game but responded immediately from kick-off, a goal that eventually took the game to extra-time. In the additional half-an-hour, Red Star secured their progression in the 98th minute thanks to a quick attack that was finished by Radonjić.

Match Information

Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Kick-off: 21:00 (CEST)

Venue: Rajko Mitić Stadium (capacity: 51,755)

Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Broadcasting: Sky Sport 1 (Austria) | B/R Live (USA)

Current From

Red Star Belgrade

Sūduva Marijampolė 0-2 (A) | Voždovac 1-2 (A) | Spartak Trnava 1-1 (H) | Spartak Subotica 3-0 (H) | Spartak Trvana 1-2 (A)

Red Bull Salzburg

Mattersburg 0-2 (A) | Shkëndija 3-0 (H) | Austria Vienna 2-0 (H) |  Shkëndija 0-1 (A) | Hartberg 2-0 (H)

Team News

Red Star Belgrade

N/A

Red Bull Salzburg

Injured: Patrick Farkas (anterior cruciate ligament) |  Fredrik Gulbrandsen (hamstring) | Alexander Walke (hip) | Kilian Ludewig (wound) | Dominik Szoboszlai (ankle) | Jérôme Onguéné (back) | Masaya Okugawa (ankle) | Philipp Köhn (knee)

Absent: Hwang Hee-chan (international duty)

Predicted Line-ups

Red Star Belgrade

Borjan

Stojković – Savić – Degenek – Rodić

Jovančić – Krističić

Fardou – Simić – Radonjić

Stojiliković

Red Bull Salzburg

Stanković

Lainer – Ramalho – Pongračić – Ulmer

Haidara – Samassékou – Schlager

Wolf

Yabo – Dabbur

Score Prediction

Red Star Belgrade 1-1 Red Bull Salzburg

[Photo: GEPA pictures/ Florian Ertl]

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