CSKA Moscow vs Crvena Zvezda Prediction, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips
Having been dropped into the UEFA Europa League knockout phase after finishing third in their Champions League stream, CSKA Moscow have their sights focused over a round of 16 promotion after holding former European champions Crvena zvezda to a goalless first-leg draw in Belgrade. Nevertheless, the Serbs, who are making their first springtime appearance on the continental stage for 26 years, can draw out confidence from their flawless defensive record away from Belgrade in the group stage, keeping a clean sheet in any of the visits to Köln, Arsenal and BATE Borisov. However, their last journey to Russia ended with a 2-3 loss to FC Krasnodar, but “Zvezda” made it to the group phase after a 2-1 home win in the second decisive playoff with “The Bulls” from Krasnodar.
Couple of days after the home draw, Crvena Zvezda played its first domestic game in 2018 where Vladan Milojevic’s men have won 3-0 vs Javor Ivanjica, maintaining their nine-point lead over Partizan on top of the Serbian SuperLiga standings. Unfortunately Vladan Milojevic won’t be able to rely on the Ghanaian striker Richmond Boakye who still recovers from an injury, so Aleksandar Pesic looks favourite to lead Zvezda’s attack once again.
Meanwhile, Viktor Goncharenko will hope that the winter signing Ahmed Musa (on loan from Leicester City) will quickly adapt to his former club (his previous CSKA spell was in period 2012–2016) and the Nigerian must improve the struggling attacking line of CSKA, where different players were used as “false nines” in the autumn. One of them is Vitinho, who is expected to play alongside Musa in a central forward duo, meaning that Goncharenko will keep credit on the 3-5-2 formation. However, “The Army Men” will rotate in midfield since Aleksandr Golovin was booked in Belgrade and is suspended for the second leg in Moscow. Thus the Swede, who played as a defender last time, Pontus Wernbloom will replace Golovin in midfield, while veteran Sergei Ignashevich is expected to start within CSKA Moscow’s centre-back trio. Another veteran in Aleksey Berezutski’s face and Georgi Shchennikov are both doubtful for the home side.
Find out the possible starting lineups of CSKA Moscow and Crvena Zvezda, as well as our betting prediction with the highest betting odds available on the selected market.
Europa League: CSKA Moscow vs Crvena Zvezda Betting Tips and Prediction
Despite their impressive defensive record in the UEFA Europe League main phase so far, conceding two times only in 7 games, Crvena Zvezda lacks of serious European experience in the past years and that is exactly what they need when visiting Moscow.
It’s true that CSKA struggles to score lately but their 2-0 win over Benfica on matchday five of the Champions League group stage was certainly a glimmer of hope as regards to their European future. It will be a tough game for both sides but we do believe CSKA have what it takes to outwit Zvezda on Wednesday night. Our betting analysts recommend placing a bet on the home side: CSKA Moscow will defeat Crvena Zvezda in what’s expected to be a close game – 1X2 Betting.
The Russian giants have only won five of their last 18 European home games but most of them were against reputable clubs (Bayern Munich, Man United, Man City, etc.) in the Champions League. Besides, that’s their first Europa League encounter since August 2012 when CSKA surprisingly lost to AIK, so let’s leave the historical aspects aside.
Possible Lineups of CSKA Moscow and Crvena Zvezda
Venue: “VEB Arena”, Moscow.
Referee: Manuel De Sousa from Portugal.
CSKA Moscow: Igor Akinfeev – Vasili Berezutski, Sergey Ignashevich, Viktor Vasin – Konstantin Kuchaev, Pontus Wernbloom, Bibras Natcho, Alan Dzagoev, Mario Fernandes – Ahmed Musa, Vitinho. (3-5-2)
Missing players: Aleksandr Golovin is suspended. Aleksey Berezutski and Georgi Shchennikov are both questionable.
Crvena Zvezda: Milan Borjan – Milan Rodic, Damien Le Tallec, Vujadin Savic, Filip Stojkovic – Mitchell Donald, Branko Jovicic – Nemanja Radonjic, Nenad Krsticic, El Fardou Ben Nabouhane – Aleksandar Pesic. (4-2-3-1)
Missing players: Richmond Boakye is injured.