Crvena zvezda vs Salzburg
Champions League, 4th round, first leg
In Belgrade will meet Serbian champion, Crvena zvezda and Salzburg, champion of Austria.
The home team had really easy draw so far. I don't remember when Serbian teams had such easy path to the group stage (Crvena zvezda already secured Europa League group stage). I mean, champions of Latvia, Lithuania and last time Slovakia were anything but too tough opposition. The truth is, those were supposed to be much tougher opponents (Apoel and Legia) but Suduva and Spartak Trnava eliminated them.
In any case, this now is going to be the real test for Serbian team. Cause, Salzburg is strong, they have made huge success in the Europa League season ago.
Unfortunately, Crvena zvezda will need to go with fans in this first leg. After previous games UEFA gave two games "behind the closed door" penalty. This is of corse big blow cause it would be quite different situations if there are 55 thousand people on the stands tonight.
But I can't agree with the odds movement we have here. Initial odds were almost 50-50, in fact Salzburg 2.50 favorite. Now, we have away win as low as odds 2.00 and that is too low if you ask me.
I was thinking about away win when saw initial odds but now I think no value in that choice.
On the other side now double chance on the home team could be nice bet but above mentioned fact about empty stands is huge.
At the end I opted for goals. It's under 2.5 total goals in the match. It's something that has become regular winner when Zvezda's games are in question. I refer on European games and if the opponent is on similar or slightly below/higher level.
Starting already from previous season, the defense of Serbian team was mainly the key for the success in Europe.
I don't think the home team will risk too much. In games like this, even 0:0 in first leg at home is good result.
On the other side, Salzburg is on higher level I have no doubts about that. But how much higher? I don't think they can arrive here and to score couple goals in the road just like that, not even in front of empty stands. IMO we should not give too credit for their wins in previous rounds, the same I am not giving on Zvezda's success. Both have had easy opponents.
But, it's stand the above mentioned great success of Salzburg in last European season.
Crvena zvezda has the new player in the meantime. It's Cafu who arrived from French Bordeaux and who directly eliminated Crvena zvezda few years ago while playing for Ludogorets. He is good signing and should be able to give nice offensive contribution but probably not now. He was not in main role in Bordeaux, I am not sure how good he could be right away. So, I was surprised that the host announced Cafu will play today.
The other very important player who arrived during the summer from APOEL, Ebecilio has been training separately and seems is not ready to go today.
Salzburg has few offensive issue too and that is going in favor of my bet.
The bottom line, I see today's game as anything from 0:0 to 1:0 for any of the teams to max 1:1.
I would be really surprised if we see here 3+ goals.
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Crvena zvezda vs Salzburg prediction
|Under 2.5||Pinnacle||1.61||8||0-0 WON (+4.88 units)|