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Red Star Belgrade
Champions League | Group Stage
Oct 4, 2023 at 8pm UK
Stadion Rajko Mitic
Young Boys

Red Star
2 - 2
Young Boys

Ndiaye (35'), Bukari (88')
Ndiaye (18'), Ivanic (45+5'), In-beom (58'), Bukari (65'), Mijailovic (73'), Dragovic (74')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Ugrinic (48'), Itten (61' pen.)
Males (64'), Camara (74'), Niasse (90+1')

Preview: Red Star Belgrade vs. Young Boys - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys will be looking to record their first win in Group G of the Champions League when they do battle at the Rajko Mitic Stadium on Wednesday night.

The hosts were beaten 3-1 away against holders Manchester City in their opening group game two weeks ago, while the visitors lost to RB Leipzig by the same scoreline.


Match preview

Red Star Belgrade coach Barak Bakhar on September 19, 2023© Reuters

Competing in the Champions League group stage for the first time in four years, Red Star will have taken plenty of positives from their encounter with Man City despite coming away on the losing side at the Etihad Stadium.

Barak Bakhar's men frustrated the Citizens in the first half and took a shock lead just before have time when Osman Bukari managed to beat the offside trap and slot a composed finish beyond Ederson. However, second-half goals from Julian Alvarez (2) and Rodri helped the holders – who had 37 shots and boasted 76% possession – turn the game on its head.

Defeat at the Etihad was Red Star's third in four games across all competitions, but the Serbian giants returned to winning ways last Saturday when they secured a slender 1-0 victory at home to Radnicki Nis thanks to an early strike from Mirko Ivanic.

The reigning SuperLiga champions, who sit four points behind city rivals Partizan at the summit after eight games, will be looking to build on last weekend's top-flight win and claim their first Champions League group-stage victory since October 2019 – a 3-0 home win over Olympiacos – when they face Young Boys in arguably their most favourable-looking Group G fixture.

Red Star have faced Young Boys on four previous occasions in Champions League qualifying, winning once on home soil back in August 2004 (3-0) and playing out three draws including a 1-1 draw in their last home meeting in August 2019.

Young Boys' Meschack Elia celebrates scoring their first goal with teammate Sandro Lauper on September 19, 2023© Reuters

Like Red Star, Young Boys are competing in the Champions League group stage for the third time in their history and they were also on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline in gameweek one despite holding their own for large spells at home against Leipzig.

The Swiss outfit were level at the break after Meschak Elia cancelled out an early opener from Mohamed Simakan, but Leipzig eventually broke down the host's resilient backline when Xaver Schlager's 73rd-minute strike was followed by a third goal in stoppage time from Benjamin Sesko.

Raphael Wicky's side received a standing ovation from the home supporters for their admirable efforts against their German counterparts, and they have since followed up that result with two wins and one defeat in the Swiss Super League, with last weekend's 1-0 win at Grasshoppers moving them to within two points of leaders FC Zurich with a game in hand.

A run of three away wins in their last four domestic matches should provide Young Boys with optimism heading into Wednesday's clash with Red Star in Serbia, where they will endeavour to claim their first-ever away win in the Champions League group stage.

The only time Young Boys have picked up a group-stage point on their travels was in December 2021 when they played out a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Red Star Belgrade Champions League form:


Red Star Belgrade form (all competitions):


Young Boys Champions League form:


Young Boys form (all competitions):



Team News

Red Star Belgrade's Osman Bukari celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 19, 2023© Reuters

Red Star winger Aleksandar Katai returned to the matchday squad and watched on as an unused substitute last weekend after recovering from a back injury, and he is available for selection again on Wednesday.

Bukari operated as a centre-forward when he scored in the defeat at Man City, but he has predominantly played on the right flank so far this season and could continue out wide against Young Boys, with Jean-Philippe Krasso and Cherif Ndiaye expected to lead the line.

Aleksandar Dragovic is set to be supported in the back three by Srdan Mijailovic and Nasser Djiga, while Ivanic, Hwang In-beom and Marko Stamenic are the most likely trio to start in centre-midfield.

As for Young Boys, winger Kastriot Imeri is ruled out with a long-term knee injury, while defender Loris Benito, who has missed the last three games, is also sidelined with a muscle problem.

After using a 5-3-2 formation against Leipzig, Wicky could revert to a more familiar 4-4-2 diamond setup on Wednesday, with midfield quartet Cheikh Niasse, Sandro Lauper, Darian Males and Filip Ugrinic, operating in midfield behind strikers Jean-Pierre Nsame and Cedric Itten, who have scored 11 goals between them in all tournaments so far this season.


Red Star Belgrade possible starting lineup:
Glazer; Mijailovic, Dragovic, Djiga; Bukari, Hwang, Stamenic, Ivanic, Rodic; Krasso, Ndiaye

Young Boys possible starting lineup:
Racioppi; Janko, Camara, Amenda, Garcia; Lauper; Niasse, Males; Ugrinic; Nsame, Itten


SM words green background

We say: Red Star Belgrade 1-1 Young Boys

Red Star, who have won one of their three home games in both of their previous two Champions League group appearances, will view Wednesday's fixture as their best opportunity to open their account in Group G.

The same can be said for Young Boys, though, and with little to separate these two teams, a closely-fought score draw could be played out in Serbia.


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




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Game History

How you voted: Red Star vs Young Boys

Red Star Belgrade
48.6%
Draw
24.6%
Young Boys
26.8%
142
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 Manchester City's Julian Alvarez celebrates scoring their first goal on September 19, 2023
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

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QReal Madrid660018
QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

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QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012
3Benfica61144
4Salzburg61144

Group E

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QAtletico642014
QLazio631210
3Feyenoord62046
4Celtic61144

Group F

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QDortmund632111
QPSG62228
3AC Milan62228
4Newcastle61235

Group G

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QMan City660018
QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H

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QBarcelona640212
QPorto640212
3Shakhtar63039
4Antwerp61053


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