28 August 2019
A 2-2 draw in Switzerland last week gives Crvena Zvezda a slight advantage over Young Boys ahead of their Champions League (CL) second-leg clash at the Stadion Rajko Mitic.
Heavily relying on an impressive recent home record in European matches (W10, D7, L2), the hosts hope to successfully negotiate their tie with Young Boys as they did in 2004/05. They played out a 2-2 draw in Switzerland before thrashing the Swiss side 3-0 in Belgrade then. The reigning Serbian champions have started the CL Qualifiers in the first round, easing past the Lithuanian outfit Suduva 2-1 on aggregate (0-0 A, 2-1 H). The Red-Whites then went on to eliminate HJK Helsinki (2-0 H, 1-2 A) and FC København (1-1 H, 1-1 A) after a tense 7-6 penalty-shootout win. A potential worry for Vladan Milojevic is that his side has secured just three wins in their last 15 European outings (W3, D6, L6), although only one of those defeats has come at home.
Meanwhile, the visitors are hopeful that they can replicate the last year’s success when they dumped out Dinamo Zagreb in the playoffs after being held to a draw at home in the first leg. However, beating a Serbian club has so far been a ‘mission impossible’ for the current Swiss champions, as they’ve failed to outplay Serbian sides in all five of their previous European H2Hs (D3, L2). Also, they’ve managed to come out on top after playing a first-leg home draw on just three occasions in 11 European cases. Furthermore, a lack of experience in the UEFA competitions has seen Young Boys win just five of 25 CL fixtures, qualifiers included (W5, D5, L14).
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