Thursday’s first-leg match at the Krasnodar Stadion in Russia will be the first time these two clubs have met and no doubt a fearsome clash between the Eastern European sides. Both are looking to advance to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League following a series of impressive results in the qualifiers. Red Star are likely to put a lot of pressure on Krasnodar in spite of the home advantage. Both teams have excellent goal-scoring records and typically concede very few.
Krasnodar have performed well over the last few months, averaging more than 2.5 goals per game. They scored a total of 11 goals in their last six league matches and looked impressive on the European stage.
They’ve surged through the qualifying rounds, beating Lyngby BK a comfortable 5-2 on aggregate and winning the away leg in round 3.
Their performance in the Russian Premier League has been a little less convincing, with 3 wins 2 draws and 1 loss putting them in 5th place, behind Zenit and Rostov.
This may be due to the fact that their normally strong squad has been blighted by injuries recently, with strikers Smolov and Okirashvili and first team goalkeeper Kritsyuk all out for Thursday’s Europa League tie.
Uruguayan midfielder Mauricio Pereya is their current top scorer in the competition with 2 goals. Red Star will need to mark him tightly to prevent him from acquiring any more goals and playing the ball through to Krasnodar’s weakened strike force.
Red Star Belgrade
Red Star have won 4 and drawn 2 so far in the Europa League qualifiers, scoring an impressive total of 12 goals and conceding just 4. They’re currently top of the Serbian Super Liga with five matches played an 5 straight wins. They’ve scored 16 goals in their opening games of the season and conceded just once. They’ve also won their last 8 games in all tournaments since May, coming away with a clean sheet in 7. Ghanian forward R. Boakye is the man to watch. He’s scored twice so far in the qualifying round. Slavoljub Srnić is another threat to Krasnodar, having scored twice in this tournament and 3 times in the Super Liga so far.
Altogether they’ve scored in every single one of their last 11 games, so the Russian side will need to be strong defensively to keep them out.
Top Betting Tips
This one is tough to call considering the two sides’ goal scoring records and clean sheets over recent months. The clubs have never played each other in a major tournament.
Krasnodar will want to use their home advantage to challenge an impressive Serbian side. They’ve scored at least once in their last 12 home games. Red Star have scored in every game so far in the Europa League preliminary stages.
A win for Red Star with both teams to score offers good value at 9/1. Krasnodar to win and both teams to score is a reasonable 10/3. Considering the goal scoring record of the two clubs, ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is a reasonable bet at 23/20. Combined with the Krasnodar win it’s a fairly unimpressive 21/10 and 13/5 for Red Star. The draw and Over 2.5 is a much more interesting wager at 16/1, with the option of cashing out earlier in the game.
It would be surprising if Krasnodar will be able to shatter Red Star’s winning streak, and at just 4/5 the straight victory for the home side is not worth the risk. Red Star have scored in every away game so far in the competition and backing them to win in Russia at 15/4 could be lucrative. The first leg of the UEFA Europa League qualification playoff stage kicks off on Thursday at 5pm UTC and our money is on Red Star for the surprise away win with both teams to score.
Last 3 Games
- Rubin Kazan 1-2 FC Krasnodar
- FC Krasnodar 2-0 TosnoSpartak Moscow 2-0 FC Krasnodar
- Red Star Belgrade 3 – 0 Radnicki Nis
- RAD Belgrade 0 – 2 Red Star Belgrade
- Red Star Belgrade 3 – 0 Cukaricki