Crvena zvezda vs Radnicki
Crvena zvezda entered decently well into the new season and not many things can be up for the criticism for now. After a very dominant previous season and finally some decent path in Europa League on the bigger scene, they are more than motivated to show more of the same and maybe even reach Champions League this time.
The side already played four competitive matches in the new season. They first progressed over Spartaks Jurmala 2:0 on aggregate in the first qualifying round of Champions League. In between of European duties, the side dispatched newly promoted Dinamo Vranje 3:0 last weekend. Goals were scored by Jovancic in 41stn, Joveljic in 51st and Jevtovic in the 76th minute.
The squad was almost heavily rotated since they were awaiting much more important second round qualifying match in Champions League against Lithuanian side Suduva that previously excluded APOEL. That game was played on last Tuesday evening and once it started, it turned out the Serbian side had nothing to worry about. Their players appeared in much better shape than how it looked like against Spartaks and it seems that they are improving more than well day by day in the new season.
Ebecilio in 23rd, Radonjic with two goals, in 35th and 58th minute sealed the victory for the Serbian side that can now fully focus on their domestic league match having in mind that they shouldn't have any kind of problems keeping the advantage in the second leg in Lithuania.
Home team has no real injury problems ahead of this match. Midfielder Srnic and striker Stoiljkovic are both back into the fitness. Some rotation is possible, but not the one that can jeopardize the result - more as a fact that the coach still needs to find out who could be making his best starting XI.
Radnicki, on the other side, is on the constant rise in previous years and they do look decent now - however, that's still far away from top sides in the country. They also had four matches till now winning easily over Maltese side Gzira in the first qualifying round 5:0 on aggregate.
After comfortable 4:0 win in Nis, they went to Malta and got the narrow victory progressing more than deservedly against levels below opponent.
Their domestic league has started with a 3:1 victory over newly promoted Proleter last Sunday. It was against a side that will probably be involved or close to the relegation battle. Hosts were better in the first halftime and completely deservedly took the double lead thanks to goals from Mrkic and Nikodijevic. Newly promoted side opened up much more in the second halftime and showed their qualities as the halftime ended with a goal in each net. Nikodijevic scored his second in the 77th minute while the guests reduced in last moments via Krstevski.
Their Europa League second round match against Maccabi Tel Aviv away from home probably did get them back to reality a bit. Israelis were better and more concrete side from the first minute, earning their 2:0 victory in second halftime thanks to two goals from Kjartansson. It didn't help much that the home side played with a man less in last fifteen minutes of the clash.
Radnicki appeared far more defensive in that clash and generally couldn't respond in a better manner. Offensive Babic, central defender Crnomarkovic and striker Haskic are doubtful for this clash after getting injuries in a match at Malta. Some rotation is possible since they still didn't give up on Europa League, but also coming from a difficult match and trip last Thursday evening.
- Crvena zvezda won last eight matches against Radnicki.
Zvezda looked like they improve with giant steps in previous matches. Having that in mind, but also a fact that they have no reason to rotate the squad much here and that their opponents probably have more reasons to mix a bit - they seem like the biggest possible favorite in this one. Home victory with two goals difference would be logical choice and outcome even if the circumstances weren't in their favor that much.
Crvena zvezda vs Radnicki prediction
Crvena zvezda -2 Asian handicap @ 2.03 with BetVictor