MX23RW : Tuesday, October 26 20:15:12| >> :600:431925:431925:
Aug 25, 2021 at 8pm UK at Brøndby Stadion
SalzburgRed Bull Salzburg
Maxso (62')
Maxso (88')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Sesko (4'), Aaronson (10')
Camara (35'), Solet (45')

Preview: Brondby vs. Red Bull Salzburg - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Brondby and Red Bull Salzburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Last week's first-leg win leaves Red Bull Salzburg in the driving seat ahead of the return against Danish champions Brondby, as they seek a place in the Champions League group stage for a third consecutive year.

The ambitious Austrian outfit came from behind to lead 2-1 in the tie, so will expect to complete the job on Tuesday and progress past a struggling home side.

Match preview

Brondby boss Niels Frederiksen pictured in May 2021© Reuters

Though the home side dominated the opening half of last Tuesday's opening encounter, Brondby went in one goal to the good at the break thanks to Mikael Uhre's early strike from their only chance of the first period. However, in the second 45, Salzburg's 17,000-plus fans roared them on to a comeback through goals from young striker Karim Adeyemi and American midfielder Brenden Aaronson.

That result marked a third successive defeat for the club which once dominated Danish football, but qualified for this round of the competition by winning the Superliga for the first time since 2005 last season.

Their defence of the title has got off to a shaky start, as Niels Frederiksen's side have picked up just four points from six matches so far, leaving them languishing down in the lower reaches of the early-season table.

In fact, Saturday's 2-2 draw at OB saw Brondby concede 21 shots at goal, as they let a two-goal advantage slip - with in-form Uhre scoring both - and an 84th-minute equaliser left them ruing their inability to hold onto a lead. As a result, they are yet to win a league game this summer and are in desperate form ahead of a must-win match this week.

The club's only previous Champions League group stage appearance came in 1998, when they finished fourth in a section involving eventual winners Manchester United, Bayern Munich - who famously lost to United in the final - and Barcelona. To even contemplate reaching such glamorous heights again, Frederiksen and company will have to tighten up at the back and hope that Salzburg can be exploited on the break.

Red Bull Salzburg's Mergim Berisha pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Like their Danish counterparts, Salzburg also made the playoffs by topping their domestic league in 2020-21 - an eighth straight Bundesliga crown.

Though they went straight into the group phase in 2019, their 5-2 aggregate win at this stage last year against Maccabi Tel-Aviv ended a sorry run of 13 successive eliminations in Champions League qualifying since their first group stage appearance in 1994 - long before they were bought out by an energy drink manufacturer.

The Red Bulls failed to make it out of Group A last term, though; finishing third, which saw them drop into the Europa League, where they were then beaten by eventual winners Villarreal in the last 32.

While European progress is their main preoccupation, Matthias Jaissle's side have made a typically strong start to the new season at home - recording five wins from as many matches to rise effortlessly to the top of the table, already clear of second-placed Sturm Graz.

Despite boasting 79% of possession, it took two late goals to ultimately see off Austria Klagenfurt on Saturday, but Salzburg will have regarded such a routine victory as a mere warm-up for Tuesday's main event.

Brondby Champions League form:
  • L

Brondby form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Red Bull Salzburg Champions League form:
  • W

Red Bull Salzburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Rasmus Kristensen during Red Bull Salzburg training on October 1, 2019© Reuters

The Salzburg squad to face Brondby this week will feature two players returning to home soil, as right-back Rasmus Kristensen and midfielder Maurits Kjaergaard could both feature at some stage. Kristensen - who was at Midtjylland between 2012 and 2018 - will start in the back four, while his countryman is set to begin on the bench.

As in the home leg, they should start with the promising pair of Benjamin Sesko and Karim Adeyemi up front. As Sadio Mane, Erling Braut Haaland and, most recently, Patson Daka have all graduated from the Red Bull talent factory, much is expected of both - and the latter is in good goalscoring form, with nine goals from 11 games this term.

However, playmaker Zlatko Junuzovic is expected to remain sidelined by a calf injury, so Luka Sucic or Brenden Aaronson should deputise just behind the front two.

Like 23-year-old Red Bull stopper Philipp Kohn, who only became the Austrian champions' number one at the start of this season, Brondby goalkeeper Mads Hermansen has played just a handful of times for his side, but should start again on Tuesday.

His team have recently been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, which has denied them several squad members, with Christian Cappis, Mathias Greve, Tobias Borkeeiet and Thomas Mikkelsen all testing positive for the virus.

Long-term absentee Blas Riveros will miss out too, though has returned to training after suffering a cruciate ligament tear, while Norwegian centre-back Sigurd Rosted remains doubtful.

Up front, top scorer Mikael Uhre will probably take on a lone striker's role, after netting 22 times last term and starting strongly again this season.

Brondby possible starting lineup:
Hermansen; Mensah, Maxso, Tshiembe, Bruus; Corlu, Ben Slimane, Frendrup, Hedlund, Pavlovic; Uhre

Red Bull Salzburg possible starting lineup:
Kohn; Kristensen, Solet, Wober, Ulmer; Camara, Capaldo, Seiwald; Aaronson; Sesko, Adeyemi

SM words green background

We say: Brondby 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg (Red Bull Salzburg win 4-2 on aggregate)

Though the first leg was decided by just a one-goal margin, the contrast in these clubs' form could hardly be greater.

Brondby's domestic woes have yet to end, and they meet a Salzburg side whose strong start to the campaign has seen them record six straight successes, so another win for the Austrians will see them safely through to the group stage.

Top tip

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