MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 08:28:46| >> :600:168016:168016:
Oct 1, 2019 at 8pm UK at Red Star Stadium
Attendance: 43,291
Red StarRed Star Belgrade
3-1
Olympiacos
Vulic (62'), Milunovic (87'), Boakye (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Semedo (37')

Preview: Red Star Belgrade vs. Olympiacos - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday night's Champions League clash between Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Olympiacos travel to Serbia on Tuesday to face Red Star Belgrade hoping to build on their impressive comeback against Tottenham Hotspur on Champions League matchday one.

The Greek outfit recovered from two goals down to rescue a point against last season's runners-up, while Red Star suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of German giants Bayern Munich.


Match preview

Red Star Belgrade manager Vladan Milojevic in October 2018© Reuters

Champions League football returns to the Stadion Rajko Mitic for this match, with Red Star no doubt looking to tap into some of the famous nights they enjoyed at the venue during their group-stage debut last year.

The Serbian outfit were not given much hope when drawn alongside Liverpool, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain in the pool, but they beat eventual winners of the competition Liverpool here and also held Napoli to an impressive goalless draw on home soil.

It is by no means an easy place to come, then, and having been drawn against a couple of big names again this year - Spurs and Bayern - manager Vladan Milojevic will know that more upsets are needed if they are to improve on last season's fourth-placed finish.

On paper Tuesday's match appears to be the easiest of the lot, and Red Star will have taken encouragement from their opening match despite ultimately falling to a 3-0 defeat in Munich.

The final scoreline was harsh on the Serbians, with Bayern scoring twice in the final 10 minutes, although Red Star then followed that up with a derby defeat to Partizan Belgrade - their only dropped points after nine matches of the league season and only their second defeat in 70 league games.

Back-to-back 3-1 wins have seen Red Star return to winning ways domestically and, while they have only won three of their last 17 European fixtures, they have also only lost two of their last 20 in front of their own fans.

Daniel Podence celebrates scoring for Olympiacos on September 18, 2019© Reuters

Olympiacos seemed on course to start their campaign with a home defeat on matchday one when they fell two goals behind against Tottenham, but a rousing comeback means that they have already matched their one-point tally from their most recent Champions League group-stage appearance in 2017-18.

Like Tuesday's hosts, Olympiacos had to come through the qualifying rounds to make it this far after finishing second in the Greek Super League last season and they are unbeaten in their seven European outings this term.

Indeed, across all competitions their unbeaten run stands at 20 matches - including 17 wins - and stretches back to February, a streak which has helped them climb to the top of the table with 13 points from the first 15 available in the Super League this term.

Away victories in the Champions League proper have been more difficult to come by, though; Olympiacos have lost each of their last four and eight of their last 10 such matches at this stage of the competition.

Manager Pedro Martins curiously insisted that this match will be "in no way decisive" for the group but, with back-to-back meetings with Bayern Munich next up, any away points would be gratefully received.

Red Star form: WWLLWW

Olympiacos form: WWWDDW


Team News

Mathieu Valbuena celebrates scoring for Olympiacos on September 18, 2019© Reuters

Mathieu Valbuena marked his 100th European appearance with a goal against Spurs on matchday one and is again expected to start alongside fellow goalscorer Daniel Podence in this game.

The visitors will be without long-term knee ligament absentees Kostas Fortounis and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, though, while Pape Abou Cisse is not expected back until after the October international break.

Red Star, meanwhile, welcomed Milan Rodic back into their side at the weekend after a couple of weeks out through injury.

Mateo Garcia has been sidelined with a muscle problem since matchday one but could be in line to feature in this game should he recover in time.

Red Star midfielder Marko Marin, who once had a stint with Chelsea, can also count Olympiacos among his former clubs, scoring 12 goals in 59 matches for the Greek outfit before moving to Belgrade last year.

There is also a link in the dugout, with Red Star boss Milojevic having spent the majority of his playing career in Greece, although he never played for Olympiacos and only won one of his 14 meetings with them.

Red Star possible starting lineup:
Borjan; Rodic, Degenek, Milunovic, Gajic; Jovancic, Canas, Parra, Marin, Garcia; Tomane

Olympiacos possible starting lineup:
Sa; Elabdellaoui, Meriah, Cisse, Tsimikas; Guilherme, Bouchalakis; Podence, Valbuena, Masouras; Guerrero


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Red Star 1-0 Olympiacos

Olympiacos had much the better result on matchday one and arguably have the better squad man for man, but Red Star proved last season just how difficult they can make it for teams at this stadium. It is likely to be a tight game, but we're backing the hosts to come away with all three points.



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