Preview: Red Bull Salzburg vs. Red Star Belgrade

The lingering scent of the Champions League group stage pie has never been so close for Red Bull Salzburg. Once before has it been removed from the window ledge before a slice can be snagged, but with the scoreline still level, the club hope to be rewarded with a taste by securing a win at the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night.

Until some fans managed to sneak in, there was an eerie atmosphere at the Rajko Mitić Stadium which had a huge impact on the entertainment on show. With the hosts starting a two-game stadium ban that was imposed on them by UEFA, they made sure their faithful didn’t miss much, sitting back, not pressing and making it very tough for Salzburg to create clear-cut opportunities, making sure the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Red Star returned to domestic action at the weekend after a one-week hiatus and maintained their 100% start to their domestic season with a comfortable 2-1 win against Čukarički to extend their lead at the summit to two points, with a game in hand. Red Bull Salzburg were able to get back into winning form after last week’s draw in Serbia, but were given a scare against Rheindorf Altach, having twice gave up a winning position before Xaver Schlager secure the points with an 83rd minute winner.

The mood around the Red Bull Arena will be antithetical of what was experienced in the first leg, with a Serbian invasion potentially on the cards. It is rumoured that out of the 25,000 plus tickets that have been sold, more than 7,000 have been purchased by Red Star fans, even though their allocation was in the region of 2,000.

Match Information

Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2018

Kick-off: 21:00 (CEST)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)

Broadcasting: Sky Sport 1 (Austria) | BT Sport ESPN (United Kingdom) | B/R Live (United States)

Previous Meetings

20.08.18: Red Star Belgrade 0-0 Red Bull Salzburg

Current Form

Red Bull Salzburg

Austria Vienna 2-0 (H) |  Shkëndija 0-1 (A) | Hartberg 2-0 (H) | Red Star Belgrade 0-0 (A) | Rheindorf Altach 2-3 (A)

Red Star Belgrade

Spartak Trnava 1-1 (H) | Spartak Subotica 3-0 (H) | Spartak Trvana 1-2 (A) | Red Bull Salzburg 0-0 (H) | Čukarički 2-1 (H)

Team News

Red Bull Salzburg

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

Absent: Hwang Hee-chan (international duty)

Red Star Belgrade

Injured: Nikola Stojiljković (hamstring)

Predicted Line-ups

Red Bull Salzburg

Stanković

Lainer – Ramalho – Pongračić – Ulmer

Haidara – Samassékou – Junuzović

Wolf

Yabo – Dabbur

Red Star Belgrade

Borjan

Stojković – Savić – Degenek – Rodić

Jovančić – Krističić

Kafu – Ben – Radonjić

Milić

Press Conference

Marco Rose: “Everyone knows what it’s all about on Wednesday. We want to win, but for that we need to play well in our own stadium, and we hope our fans will support us. How much that can help us was shown by the matches against Dortmund and Lazio last season. For this challenge we should keep the pressure off as much as possible, as we have already achieved so much. Now we have the chance to do something quite special.”

Cican Stanković: “Red Star defended very deeply in the first leg and didn’t contribute much to the game. They defended well and made things difficult for us to create chances. We need to remain patient in the second leg and stay concentrated in finishing. We can’t forget either that Red Star are also under huge pressure.” 

Quotes via redbullsalzburg.at

Score Prediction

Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 Red Star Belgrade (AET)

[Photo: Red Bull Salzburg]

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