MX23RW : Tuesday, December 7 02:00:06| >> :600:1042123:1042123:
Nov 25, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Red Star Stadium
Red StarRed Star Belgrade
LudogoretsLudogorets Razgrad
Ivanic (57')
Srnic (63'), Krsticic (69'), Gajic (87'), Erakovic (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Soteriou (85')

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

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Red Star Belgrade and Ludogorets Razgrad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Red Star Belgrade welcome Ludogorets Razgrad to the Rajko Mitic Stadium for the penultimate round of Europa League group games on Thursday evening.

The hosts lost top spot after a surprise defeat in the previous game and must now ensure they beat the group underdogs.

Match preview

Red Star Belgrade's Guelor Kanga celebrates scoring their first goal on September 30, 2021© Reuters

Red Star were sitting pretty at the halfway point of the group stages after two wins and a draw, but a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of FC Midtjylland last time out changed the complexion of Group F.

A Guelor Kanga own goal in the 56th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides - as Red Star had two men dismissed - and left the Danes just two points behind with two games remaining.

The Red-Whites have bounced back since then with three consecutive victories - most recently a 5-1 thrashing away at Mladost Lucani which featured an Aleksandar Katai hat-trick.

That means Dejan Stankovic's side have cut the gap to bitter rivals Partizan at the top of the Serbian SuperLiga to six points with a game in hand.

There is still plenty of work to do both domestically and in Europe, though, from the position they are currently in.

Ludogorets Razgrad coach Valdas Dambrauskas on September 30, 2021© Reuters

Ludogorets have no such worries domestically - they remain four points clear at the top of the Bulgarian First League despite a 2-0 loss to CSKA Sofia at the weekend.

In the Europa League, however, they have struggled as expected. After a promising 1-1 draw in their opening game with Midtjylland - where Kiril Despodov equalised after an early Gustav Isaksen goal - they have lost the last three.

Back-to-back 1-0 home defeats to Red Star and Braga were followed by a 4-2 loss to the Portuguese side and anything but a win on Thursday will confirm their elimination from the tournament.

This campaign is already an improvement on last year's when they failed to earn a single point from a group containing Tottenham Hotspur, Royal Antwerp and LASK Linz, but will nonetheless be seen as a disappointment for the Bulgarian champions.

Red Star Belgrade Europa League form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

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

Ludogorets Razgrad Europa League form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Ludogorets Razgrad form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

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

Defenders Marko Gobeljic and Milos Degenek were the two Red Star players sent off against Midtjylland and the pair will be suspended for Thursday's game.

Milan Gajic and Radovan Pankov will be the two to take their place in the back four of a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Mirko Ivanic, Kanga and Katai are battling for two spots in the team and, despite the latter's recent hat-trick, it is the first two that appear set to make the starting XI.

Olivier Verdon saw red at the weekend for Ludogorets but his domestic ban does not carry over into the Europa League and he will be free to start in another back four.

Wanderson and Anton Nedyalkov are both long-term injuries and are not due back until 2022, but Higinio Marin is nearing a return.

Red Star Belgrade possible starting lineup:
Borjan; Gajic, Dragovic, Pankov, Rodic; Srnic, Sanogo; Ben, Kaku, Ivanic; Pavkov

Ludogorets Razgrad possible starting lineup:
Kahlina; Cicinho, Verdon, Plastun, Ikoko; Badji, Goncalves; Tekpetey; Yankov, Despodov; Sotiriou

SM words green background

We say: Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Ludogorets Razgrad

Despite a weakened defence after those two red cards last time out, Red Star should still have enough to comfortably dispatch the group minnows. We are backing a comfortable 2-0 home victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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