Red Star returns to the knockout stage of a European competition after a 26-year hiatus. Standing in their way is a CSKA Moscow, a team that struggled to impress in Champions League group phase over the past five years.
The Serbian outfit were the lowest scoring teams in the Europa League this season with 3 goals. Yet, they managed to finish second in the group behind Arsenal with 9 points aided by 2 wins and 3 draws. It has been the tactical awareness of Vladan Milojevic that played a vital role in this mini success.
On the other hand, CSKA finished third in their Champions League group behind Manchester United and Basel. They also bagged 9 points contributed by 3 wins from the stipulated 6 games. Unlike Red Star, CSKA attack came handy during the phase, scoring at least once in 5 of those 6 outings. However, errors in defense cost them a place in the knockout stage of the premier European competition.
Both teams are out of competitive action since December. But they have been involved in a handful of friendly matched off-late.
Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow: Head-to-head
Tuesday Europa League knockout clash mark the first ever competitive meeting between Red Star and CSKA.
Red Star overall record against Russian clubs in UEFA competitions is 3 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses from 8 games. At home, the record stand at 2 wins and 2 losses from 4 games.
In the current campaign, Red Star defeated CSKA league rivals FC Krasnodar in the qualifying play-offs (2-1 win at home after a 2-3 defeat in Russia).
Meanwhile CSKA met a Serbian opponent on just two previous occasions, which was in the round of 16 of the 2004/05 UEFA Cup. The Moscow based club emerged victorious in the double legged tie 2-0 win at the home turf after settling for a 1-1 draw in the visit to Serbia.
Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow: Prediction
Both teams are coming after a long layoff from competitive football and they need some time to get their sharpness back. Therefore, one must expect a slow start to this game.
My money is certainly on the home side, mainly because of their tactical set-up and the strong defense. CSKA are not the prolific side that they once used to be and may struggle to come to the part at the Stadion Rajko Mitic.
Correct Score Prediction: 1-0 Red Star win at the odds of 8.00 odds.
Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow: Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals at 1.65 odds has to be a banker.
While brave punters can back the home win for 3.00 odds.