Professionals | 07/12/2017

Match Preview: Red Star Belgrade

All on the line

It is the grand finale of Group H. 1. FC Köln will travel to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade. FC must win in order to advance to the next round of the UEFA Europa League.

Arsenal FC will advance to the next round of the UEFA Europa League as the winners of Group H. Which team will join them remains to be seen. All three remaining clubs have a chance at the next round.

Possible Scenarios

1. FC Köln and Red Star Belgrade are currently tied in second place of Group H with six points apiece. BATE Borisov are last in the group, but are still within striking distance with a total of five points. So how can FC advance to the next round? Simply put, with a win. A draw will not suffice because Belgrade hold the head-to-head advantage after winning the first leg in Cologne with a score of 1-0. Borisov will have to win in London while simultaneously hoping for a draw between FC and Red Star, but FC can clinch their own destiny with a win on foreign soil.

So far in the Europa League

1. FC Köln fans had to wait until Matchday 4 of the UEFA Europa League to see their beloved team pick up their first points. Although the situation seemed bleak with a 1-2 result at half, FC came back in the second half to turn the match around against Borisov and win 5-2. What followed was a 1-0 win at home against Arsenal FC. Red Star, meanwhile, have picked up points in almost all of their matches. Their lone loss was a 0-1 defeat at home against Arsenal.

What FC should expect in Belgrade

With 27 league titles and 24 Cup titles, Red Star Belgrade is the most successful club in Serbian football history. The current season has Vladan Milojevic’s team in first place on 53 points. The only home fixture Red Star has lost in the 2017/18 season is the aforementioned Europa League match against Arsenal FC. Belgrade are known for having a passionate fan base, who are expected to be out in full force when FC come to town.

The FC situation

Thursday’s match will be the first competitive match for interim coach Stefan Ruthenbeck, who took over the reigns following the departure of Peter Stöger. The injury list at FC remains a long one: Marcel Risse, Jonas Hector, Simon Zoller, Marco Höger, Dominic Maroh, Dominique Heintz, Jorge Meré, Leonardo Bittencourt, Jhon Cordoba, and Joao Queiro just to name a few. The cards may be stacked against FC, but if the past few days of training are any indication, Ruthenbeck will have his players ready for what should be an exciting fixture in Belgrade.

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Table

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Total table
PL. Team Pt.
16 Hamburger SV 15
17 SV Werder Bremen 14
18 1. FC Köln 3
Total table
PL. Team Pt.
1 Arsenal 13
2 Crvena Zvezda 9
3 1. FC Köln 6
4 BATE Borisov 5

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