MX23RW : Thursday, September 16 23:09:30| >> :600:111163:111163:
Aug 3, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stadion Rajko Mitić
Red StarRed Star Belgrade
Sheriff TiraspolSheriff Tiraspol
Diony (45+1')
Sanogo (26'), Kanga (32'), Krsticic (86'), Ivanic (90+5')
Kanga (58')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Castaneda (33')
Castaneda (65'), Julien (72'), Dulanto (84'), Bizjak (90')

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

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

Red Star Belgrade will be looking to make use of home advantage when they welcome Sheriff Tiraspol for the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round contest on Tuesday night.

The hosts thumped Kairat 6-2 in the second qualifying round, while Sheriff have overcome both Teuta Durres and Alashkert to book their spot at this stage of the 2021-22 competition.

Match preview

Red Star Belgrade Radovan Pankov celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Red Star enjoyed a stunning 2020-21 campaign in the Serbian SuperLiga, winning 35 of their 38 league matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, to top the table with 108 points, which saw them qualify for the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Red-Whites actually suffered a 2-1 defeat to Kairat in the first leg of their second qualifying round fixture on July 21, but they recorded a 5-0 victory in the reverse match at home to comfortably advance.

Red Star have also made a strong start to their domestic season, picking up seven points from their three matches, and they will enter Tuesday's contest off the back of a 2-1 victory away to Spartak Subotica, which made it three straight wins in all competitions for the Serbian giants.

Dejan Stankovic's side competed in last season's Europa League, progressing through Group L in second position before losing on away goals to AC Milan in the last-32 stage of the competition.

Red Star played in the group stages of the 2019-20 Champions League, meanwhile, finishing fourth in Group B, having picked up just three points from their matches against Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur and Olympiacos.

Sheriff, meanwhile, comfortably finished top of the 2020-21 Moldovan National Division, picking up 99 points from their 36 matches, which saw them qualify for the Champions League first qualifying round.

The Yellow-Blacks have won all four of their Champions League fixtures this term, recording a 5-0 aggregate victory over Teuta Durres before winning 1-0 and 3-1 against Alashkert in the second qualifying round.

Sheriff will now face comfortably their toughest examination, as they bid to make the group stage of a European competition for the first time since competing in the 2017-18 Europa League.

Yuriy Vernydub's team have never managed to advance to the group stage of the Champions League, but they have played 74 times during qualification for the European Cup, winning 27, drawing 14 and losing 33 of those matches.

Sheriff, who are two games into their domestic season, will have to overcome two strong sides in the next two rounds in order to achieve their goal, and it is vital that the Moldovan side stay in the contest ahead of the return fixture on August 10.

Red Star Belgrade Champions League form:
  • L
  • W

Red Star Belgrade form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Sheriff Tiraspol Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Sheriff Tiraspol form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Red Star Belgrade's Guelor Kanga celebrates with teammates after scoring against Gent on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Red Star boss Stankovic is unlikely to spring any surprises when it comes to his team selection for this match, with the XI that started the 5-0 win over Kairat on July 28 likely to take to the field.

A brilliant attacking performance saw Aleksandar Katai, Filippo Falco and Mirko Ivanic all register, and the trio should again operate behind Lois Diony, who was also on the scoresheet in the second leg of the second qualifying round.

Red Star were in league action on Saturday, and a number of players were given rests ahead of this contest, but the likes of Aleksandar Dragovic and Marko Gobeljic will be back in the side against Sheriff.

As for the visitors, it is expected to be a similar side that took to the field for the second leg of their second qualifying round contest against Alashkert on July 28.

Head coach Vernydub is likely to set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Henrique Luvannor, who was on the scoresheet in his side's last European match, leading the line with support from Frank Castaneda and Adama Traore.

Like Red Star, Sheriff were in league action on Saturday, and there will be changes to the XI for Tuesday's contest, with both managers desperate to lead their side into the playoff round.

Red Star Belgrade possible starting lineup:
Borjan; Gobeljic, Pankov, Dragovic, Rodic; Kanga, Sanogo; Ivanic, Falco, Katai; Diony

Sheriff Tiraspol possible starting lineup:
Athanasiadis; Cristiano, Dulanto, Arboleda, Julien; Addo, Thill, Banda; Traore, Luvannor, Castaneda

SM words green background

We say: Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Sheriff Tiraspol

Sheriff are a team to be taken seriously at this level of football, but we are finding it very difficult to look past Red Star, who were brilliant in their last European contest. When all is said and done, the Serbian outfit should have too much for their opponents, particularly in the home fixture.

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