Manchester City vs Crvena ZvezdaUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Sep 19, 2023, Etihad Stadium
EUROPEAN champions Manchester City start their defence of the Champions League with a home tie against Crvena Zvezda…or Red Star Belgrade in old money.
Pep Guardiola's side have picked up where they left off last season and have been absolutely perfect so far this term…Community Shield apart.
Even when they seem to be in trouble, they find a way to accelerate their way out of it and cruise to a win. On Saturday they went in at the interval a goal down to West Ham and looked they could drop at least a couple of points in the league for the first time this season.
But they turned on the afterburners after the break, immediately equalised and went on to win 3-1. Relentless.
They entertain one of the great names in European football. Red Star broke the mold when they won the European Cup in 1991 and are the most famous name in the former Yugoslavia.
Present day, they are the Serbian champions and are managed by Israeli coach Barak Bakhar. However, they don't go into this game in the best of spirits after two shock defeats in their last three league games to Vozdovac and Cukaricki.
HOW THE BOOKIES VIEW IT
As a non-event basically. Manchester City are huge favourites and as low as 1/20 in some places which is incredible for a Champions League game.Coral will give you 1/14.
The Serbs can be backed at a pretty remarkable 45/1 with Coral again.
The draw is 15/1 with UniBet.
RECENT HEAD TO HEADS
The clubs have never met before in European competitions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
It will be interesting to see how much respect Guardiola gives to Crvena Zvezda. They have a home game against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, so it's not desperate to rest anyone and he usually goes strong for almost every game. With Erling Haaland as short as 2/7 to net, look elsewhere and Bernardo Silva scored against the Hammers. He is 14/5 to score anytime with William Hill.
Ivory Coast hitman Jean-Phillipe Krasso has scored six goals in six starts for the visitors this season. The ex-St Etienne striker is 9/1 to score anytime with UniBet.
ANYTHING ELSE CATCH THE EYE?
It's next to impossible to build any kind of case for anything other than a chunky and emphatic home win. There is highly likely to be a significant difference in class here.
The 4/6 from Paddy Power on a Manchester City win to nil looks nailed on and it's hard to see City conceding here even though they've failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three games.
Last season, City scored four, five and seven goals at home and they are 12/5 to score over four goals with Paddy Power which is worth a go.
This UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City and Crvena Zvezda will be played on Sep 19, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Manchester City vs Crvena Zvezda prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.