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Red Star Belgrade
Champions League | Group Stage
Dec 13, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Stadion Rajko Mitic
Manchester City logo

Red Star
2 - 3
Man City

In-beom (76'), Katai (90+1')
Spajic (45+1'), Mijailovic (65'), Djiga (84')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hamilton (19'), Bobb (62'), Phillips (85' pen.)
Phillips (52')

Preview: Red Star Belgrade vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Red Star Belgrade and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Champions League holders Manchester City travel to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade at the Rajko Mitic Stadium in their final Group G fixture on Wednesday night.

The two teams meet for the first time since the Citizens came from behind at half time to beat Red Star 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium in September on matchday one.

Match preview

Red Star Belgrade coach Barak Bakhar at the end of the first half on November 28, 2023© Reuters

Wednesday's meeting with Man City represents Red Star Belgrade's final European fixture of the 2023-24 campaign, as they are guaranteed to finish rock bottom of Group G and crash out of Europe altogether after losing four and drawing one of their first five Champions League matches this term.

Red Star missed out on the chance to secure third place in the group and drop down into the Europa League as they suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Young Boys on matchday five two weeks ago, extending their losing streak away from home in the Champions League to nine games.

Barak Bakhar's side have since responded by winning their last three domestic matches by an aggregate score of 9-1, including last weekend's 3-1 home victory over Mladost Lucani in the Serbian SuperLiga.

Goals from Aleksandar Katai, Jovan Mijatovic and Hwang In-beom helped league leaders Red Star claim maximum points and set a European record for the longest-ever unbeaten league run on home soil – a remarkable 122 games without defeat dating back to 2017 which breaks the previous record held by Real Madrid (121) between 1957 and 1965.

Red Star now turn their attention to Wednesday's dead-rubber Champions League clash with Man City in which they will seek to avoid suffering back-to-back home defeats in the competition for the first time since losing 4-0 and 6-0 to Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich respectively in November 2019.

Manchester City's Jack Grealish celebrates scoring their second goal on December 10, 2023© Reuters

Following a run of three draws and one defeat across four Premier League games, reigning champions Man City returned to winning ways when they came from behind to claim a much-needed 2-1 victory over Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Sunday.

The Citizens were trailing at the break courtesy of a close-range header from Elijah Adebayo, but two goals in the space of just two minutes and 50 seconds midway through the second half from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish helped Pep Guardiola's men turned the game on its head and secure a hard-fought three points for the visitors.

Man City, who sit fourth in the Premier League table and four points behind leaders Liverpool, are now gearing up for a run of six fixtures across all competitions in the space of 17 days to conclude 2023, with their midweek clash at Red Star and Saturday's Premier League encounter with Crystal Palace followed by two Club World Cup fixtures in Saudi Arabia, before finishing the year with top-flight games against Everton and Sheffield United.

Guardiola and co will be merely playing for pride when they walk out at the Rajko Mitic Stadium for the very first time, but they should be motivated by the prospect of becoming just the second English club after Liverpool (2021-22) to win all six Champions League group-stage matches in a single season.

Victory on Wednesday for Man City, who have won three and drawn four of their last seven European away matches, would also see them become the first English team in European Cup/Champions League history to win eight consecutive games in the competition.

Red Star Belgrade Champions League form:

Red Star Belgrade form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Manchester City Champions League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City's Erling Haaland reacts on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Red Star have not reported any injury concerns in the build-up to this contest, so Bakhar could have a fully-fit squad at his disposal.

Kosta Nedeljkovic, who at the age of 17 years and 347 days became youngest player to score an own goal in the Champions League two weeks ago, made his full debut in the competition against Young Boys last time out, and the right-back will hope to retain his place in the first XI ahead of Stefan Mitrovic.

Osman Bukari, who scored against Man City at the Etihad three months ago, and Jean-Philippe Krasso have found the net 15 times between them so far this season, and the attacking duo are expected to feature in the final third on Wednesday.

As for Man City, Erling Haaland is ruled out with a "bone stress reaction" in his foot, but the striker is set to return to training on Thursday, while Jeremy Doku is facing one or two weeks on the sidelines with a muscle problem; Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

Guardiola is expected to freshen up his starting lineup for this dead-rubber fixture, with Stefan Ortega potentially replacing Ederson in goal and Manuel Akanji, John Stones, Rico Lewis and Sergio Gomez all in contention to play in either defence or midfield.

Should Guardiola opt to rest key midfielder Rodri, Kalvin Phillips could be handed a rare start in the engine room, while the absence of Haaland is set to see either Julian Alvarez or Oscar Bobb begin as the central striker.

Red Star Belgrade possible starting lineup:
Glazer; Nedeljkovic, Djiga, Dragovic, Mijailovic, Rodic; In-Beom, Stamenic, Ivanic; Krasso, Bukari

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Lewis, Stones Akanji, Gomez; Phillips, Kovacic; Bobb, Nunes, Grealish; Alvarez

SM words green background

We say: Red Star Belgrade 1-3 Manchester City

Red Star will hope to end the group stage on a high and may not get a better chance to beat the reigning European champions, who could make mass changes to their side having already secured qualification to the knockout rounds.

Man City will be determined to build on last weekend's win over Luton, though, and the lineup that Guardiola selects should still be strong enough to outscore their Serbian counterparts en route to claiming maximum points.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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Group A

4Man Utd61144

Group B


Group C

QReal Madrid660018
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012

Group E


Group F

3AC Milan62228

Group G

QMan City660018
QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H


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