Red Bull Salzburg v Red Star Belgrade
Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg. Kick off: Wednesday 29th August, 8pm. Live on BT sports ESPN.
Winner takes all
After a goalless draw in Belgrade last week it is all to play for tonight with the reward for the winner being Champions League football until Christmas at least and the financial rewards it brings.
Salzburg will probably be the happier of the two sides after last week's 0-0 away from home as. They boast a very impressive home record. They are favourites to win on the night at 4/9 and 4/11 to qualify (both skybet). Red Star are outsiders at 7/1 (skybet) to win in the 90 mins and 12/5 (betfair) to qualify. The draw pays 14/5 (skybet).
The home side boast an impressive home record both domestically and in Europe. Domestically they last dropped points at home with a 0-0 draw in December 2017 and you need to go back even further to November 2016 the last time they lost a match at home.
In the Champions League they have not lost in 90 minutes, albeit qualifiers, since 2010. Although more recently had an impressive run to the semi-finals of last season's Europa League semi-finals before going out to an extra-time goal from Marseille.
They were unbeaten at home and had some significant scalps such as Marseille twice, Real Sociedad and a 4-1 route of Lazio among their results with Dortmund also disposed of after a 0-0 home draw.
They have started this season strongly winning 8 out of their first 9 fixtures and scoring 2+ goals in 6 out of 8 of them. As well as being a goal threat they have done the business at the other end with 6 of their last 7 matches seeing them keep a clean sheet.
Belgrade may have less experience than their opponents at this level but will go into this tie looking to cause a surprise. They have had to negotiate 3 qualifying rounds to reach the play-offs beating the champions of Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia along the way.
Their away results have read 0-0 in Latvia before winning 2-0 away to Celtic's Europa opponents Suduva to complete a 5-0 aggregate score. It then took an extra-time winner away to Spartak Trvana after two 1-1 draws to reach this stage.
Like Salzburg they also took part in last season's Europa league and made the last 16 before going out in Russia to CSKA Moscow 1-0 on aggregate. They managed to qualify from Arsenal's group and never conceded away from home but did only manage to score the once in the 3 ties.
They have proven a hard team to break down but maybe missing a little quality going forward at this level and have seen three out of four of their last Champions League ties go under 2.5 goals.
- Salzburg 2 Red Star 0 11/2 (Betvictor)