Crvena Zvezda – Rangers Predictions
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Crvena Zvezda 2-1 Rangers
Date: 17.03.2022 | Match at: 18:45 | League: EUROPA LEAGUE – PLAY OFFS – 1/8-FINALS | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.37 | Bookie: Unibet.
Crvena Zvezda – Rangers Match Preview
- Red Star Belgrade have it all to play for following their 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture after seeing two first-half goals disallowed and a spot-kick saved. A famously raucous home crowd that’s seen the Serbian champions win seven of their last eight games at the Stadion Rajko Mitić (D1) will now hope to spur their side on to repeat the first-ever H2H in Belgrade – a 3-0 victory back in 1990/91 on the way to Red Star being crowned European champions.
- Although still in the title mix back home, replicating arguably Red Star’s greatest-ever side will be difficult, but they have overturned a three-goal deficit after a first-leg defeat once before in UEFA competition – back in 1978/79 vs Dynamo Berlin. Just one defeat across Red Star’s last ten UEFA Europa League (UEL) matches (W6, D3, L1) shows the Serbians will be hard to beat, but progressing will likely require an early goal, and Red Star have scored before half-time in just four of those ten games.
- Red Star were reported to have been privately pleased at being drawn against Scottish champions Rangers, but any smiles will have long dissipated after the Glasgow giants followed up their shock 6-4 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund with a seventh UEL game unbeaten in that first-leg hammering (W4, D3).
- With that form, and after recording four consecutive ‘wins to nil’ coming into this game, Rangers will believe they have a shot at the UEL trophy, albeit their impressive 4-2 victory in Dortmund in the last round was their first away win in Europe this season (W1, D3, L2). Although there may be some eyes on the title race back home, as Rangers sit three points behind fierce rivals Celtic with games running out.
- Key battle: Red Star’s Aleksandar Katai had two goals disallowed and a penalty saved by Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor in the first leg, who was praised for his clean sheet. The 40-year-old keeper is the only player that featured in the previous tie between these sides back in 2007/08, when he secured a clean sheet home and away!
- Hot streak: Rangers have scored a first-half opener in five straight UEL games.