Unlike Arsenal, who can take it easy at the head of Group H, both Koln and Red Star Belgrade are still immersed in the fight to make the knockouts. As things stand, it is the Serbian side who have the advantage, but it’s a very tentative one, as it’s based on the head-to-head record between these two. Having beaten the Germans away from home, Red Star might just fancy their chances of getting all three points here. However, Koln will undoubtedly have felt hard done by when the pair met a few months ago, so they’ll be expecting to record a better result this time around.
Koln may have lost at home to Red Star Belgrade, but there’s no reason as to why the Germans cannot get their revenge in this match. Having said that, as they found out on home soil, the host’s stubborn back-line could prove to be a stumbling block. The bet that catches the eye is ‘Under 2.5 Goals.
As both BATE and Arsenal found out when visiting Rajko Mitić Stadium, the team from Belgrade are not easy to pass. Those two struggled to break down what has proved to be a tight-lipped rea-guard, and it’s easy to think that Koln could also find life tough in Serbia. Interestingly, all five of Red Star Belgrade’s matches in Group H have seen less than three goals go in. Only one of those five has seen more than a single goal be scored. The hosts might not offer a great deal going forward, as they’ve scored just two goals in five matches, but they’re anything but easy to score against, as they’ve conceded just two.
Koln haven’t quite been as impressive as Red Star when it comes to keeping goals out, but the fact that the hosts have struggled to really build up a head of steam going forward should help them in that respect. However, even though they’ve offered a reasonably attacking threat, scoring goals could prove to be problematic, just as it was on their own patch. Even if the visitors are to come out on top, it’s unlikely to be in high-scoring fashion.
With these two locked together on six points each, we’re looking at a game that is likely to be a very cagey affair. Neither side will want to make a mistake. What with the hosts looking strong at the back, a distinct lack of goals is expected at Rajko Mitić Stadium on Thursday night, though, if either side is to clinch it, based on what we’ve seen so far, you’d have to fancy the hosts to be the ones to do so.
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