Crvena Zvezda will host Tottenham in a heated atmosphere of Rajko Mitic Stadium on Wednesday at 21:00 CET. The guests arrive at a bad moment with the team still recovering from some poor results recently.
The hosts are dominating the Serbian league, ruining everything in their path with 13 wins and only a solitary draw in 14 played matches. Milan Pavkov is scoring as usually, and some of you may remember him for scoring a brace against Liverpool in the group stage last season.
The main man
Another familiar name from the team is their best player and once the biggest creative talent in Europe – Marko Marin. The German attacking midfield operates between the lines, often connecting the lines of attack. Marin has a free role in the team, and a lot depends on his mood on the given day as Zvezda’s number 10 sometimes lacks consistency.
The team is missing El Fardou Ben this season. The right-winger started the domestic league strongly, scoring six goals in seven matches. However, he wasn’t registered for the Champions League due to a big number of strangers in the team as he was expected to leave for Al Wahda. However, the transfer fell apart, leaving Zvezda without their star striker. The hosts will rely on Boakye to deliver goals as the pacey striker already proved he can bag them in at the highest level.
Tottenham, on the other hand, are far from having a domestic fairytale this season. Pochettino started losing strings of his team as the Spurs are 11th in the Premier League, with just 13 points in 11 matches to date.
Missing the creative force
Pochettino and Eriksen had a fallout at the beginning of the season, when Dane publicly said he wanted to leave the club. This prompted the Argentinian manager to bench him for a while, as the team was stringing together a poor run of results. After they made their piece, Eriksen hasn’t been the same, showing some of his worst performances since arriving at Tottenham from Ajax in 2013.
Despite their numerous issues this season, the Spurs did manage to thrash their today’s opponent in London by beating them 5-0 in a dominant display, with a great performance from Son Heung-Min.
However, some good news arrives from the medical department. Giovanni Lo Celso played some minutes in Tottenham’s draw to Everton last weekend. The Spaniard could provide a creative spark the team is missing recently. If he was to replicate his Betis performances, Lo Celso should prove to be an immediate boost for the team.
Harry Kane is expected to miss Crvena Zvezda clash, along with Verhongen and Lloris, who is out for a while. Son and Aurier might get the spare due to a freak injury on Andre Gomes last weekend accidentally caused by the duo.
Crvena Zvezda proved that they can cope with England’s best last season when they beat Liverpool 2-0. They are a different beast at home and the 5-0 thrashing from Tottenham in London won’t be repeated here today. A lot of goals should be expected, with these two teams playing all of their Champions League matches this season with at least three goals in either net.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals
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