Crvena Zvezda – Maccabi Haifa Predictions
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Crvena Zvezda 2-2 Maccabi Haifa
Date: 23.08.2022 | Match at: 20:00 | League: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – QUALIFICATION – FINAL | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.36 | Bookie: Unibet.
Crvena Zvezda – Maccabi Haifa Match Preview
- The 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade have a mountain to climb as they look to book their spot in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stages for the first time in three years. The Serbian outfit trail Maccabi Haifa 3-2 from their first-leg play-off clash, but can take confidence from their success on this journey last year, when they overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit to beat Kairat Almaty in the second qualifying round.
- Dejan Stanković’s side have otherwise started the season in blistering fashion. Before last week’s defeat in Israel, they had won seven successive matches, averaging nearly four goals per game while keeping a whopping six clean sheets, five of which have come on home soil. The Rajko Mitić Stadium has also become a fortress in European football, with the hosts losing just one of their 16 home UCL qualifiers (W9, D6) since 2006 – three of the last four remarkably finished 5-0!
- That potent attack may enjoy itself against a Maccabi Haifa team that have kept only one clean sheet in their last ten UCL away matches. Such a defensive record perhaps explains why Barak Bakhar’s side have not qualified for the group stages of this competition since 2009/10, when they lost all six matches without scoring.
- However, you have to go back to a UCL play-off defeat to Genk in 2011 for the last time the Greens were knocked out of a European competition after winning the first match of a two-legged tie. They have also started this season in impressive fashion, dumping Olympiacos out in the second qualifying round and scoring the first goal in four of their six outings so far, including two strikes within the opening seven minutes!
- Players to watch: Towering Red Star striker Milan Pavkov has got six goals in as many games this season and famously netted a UCL brace in a 2-0 win over Liverpool back in 2018. Meanwhile, Tjaronn Chery scored Maccabi’s winner last week and has now grabbed six goals and five assists in his last 14 European qualifiers.
- Hot stat: Red Star boss Stanković has only lost three of his 12 European qualification ties as a player or manager.