Crvena zvezda vs Koln by DamirJ
Crvena zvezda made a setback in last round of Serbian Super Liga away to Backa in a 2:2 draw last Saturday afternoon, probably already being under pressure and thinking a lot about this match against Koln. However, should be said that they were better than the opponents, but simply it wasn't their day.
Hosts took the lead in 27th minute with a goal from Doric and remained being dangerous on counter attacks, while the guests replied with a goal from Boakye in 55th, but the hosts re-took the lead in 78th via Makaric, just to see them conceding in 86th from the penalty kick taken by Boakye. The side now leads the table with six points more than second placed Partizan and revert all the attention to this clash as they meet Borac Cacak this weekend, side that is one of the weakest in the league.
Offensive midfielder Nemanja Radonjic (16/0) is injured for this one, while other offensive midfielder Ricardinho (3/1) remains unfit but anyway isn't in-form to play in such important clash.
Koln, on the other side, actually comes from a bit more positive performances than what the previous games were - as the side managed to take a point in a 2:2 draw away to Schalke. However, must be said that they also had a bit of luck in this game, since their hosts have created much more and probably did deserve the three pointer.
Schalke had the lead twice, but Koln managed to reply twice, via Guirassy in 50th minute and with a goal from penalty kick taken by the same player in 77th for a point earned. The team remained being last at the table with just three points so far and 0-3-11 record, while the coach has stepped down after this clash - something that was already decided but the club didn't want to interrupt their preparations for Schalke.
Defenders Dominique Heintz (11/1), Jonas Hector (3/0), midfielders Leonardo Bittencourt (12/0), Marco Hoger (5/0), Marcel Risse (4/0) and forwards Simon Zoller (9/0) and Jhon Cordoba (8/0) are all out injured. Participation of defenders Yann Aurel Bisseck (2/0), Dominic Maroh (6/0) and Jorge Mere (4/0) is questionable since the players come from injuries.
One way or another, I can't see this match being a defensive one. Zvezda remains a favorite since Koln comes without many important players for this one, but still have a decent roster and surely no matter who plays - they will try to get a victory and reach the knockout phase. Since the visitors need all three points, I can't see the game being defensive minded one, especially since neither of the teams (probably) won't be able to rely on the result of the second match in the group.