Tottenham Hotspur vs Red Star Belgrade Match Preview

Just three days after their disappointing draw to Watford on Saturday, Spurs are back in action tonight in the Champions League against the notorious Serbian champions, Red Star Belgrade. The five times Serbian SuperLiga Champions.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur struggled to a 1-1 draw against bottom of the league Watford with VAR giving them a big helping hand in the process. The international break didn’t look to have recharged Spurs’ batteries as fans frustrations continue to grow in what’s been an inconsistent start to the season. Watford were wrongly denied a penalty for a blatant foul on the fleet-footed Gerard Deulofeu as Jan Vertonghen clattered into him in the box. Even after a VAR check, the penalty wasn’t awarded. Dele Alli’s equaliser was a controversial one too as VAR awarded the goal despite the ball hitting Dele on the shoulder. VAR once again proved to be The Lilywhites get out of jail card.

Red Star Belgrade have won six of their last six games, including a 3-1 victory of UEFA Champions League Group Stage opponents Olympiacos. They’ve scored 20 goals in those six games whilst conceding only four. They top Serbian SuperLiga by four points despite having a game in hand over second-place Vojvodina. Red Star Belgrade’s danger man is the former Chelsea and Werder Bremen midfielder Marko Marin. The Yugoslavian born German has played for an illustrious list of clubs and has netted eight times in 27 matches from wide midfield. Forward Milan Pakov is also in form this season having scored five in the league and two in the Champions League already this season. No doubt that on paper that Red Star Belgrade aren’t at the level that Tottenham Hotspur are but the Serbian team are used to winning and have a frightening run of form coming into this game with Spurs. Tottenham will have to be wary of this and they certainly can’t take this task lightly.

Spurs are third in Champions League Group B and Red Star Belgrade are in second place, two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs still have a fantastic chance of qualifying in the second place position with bookers offering odds of 2/7 for them to get out of the group but they’ll have to win tonight for that to happen.

Team News

Giovani Lo Celso could be set to make his long-awaited return after the summer signing picked up an injury on international duty a couple of months ago with Argentina. It’s understood Ryan Sessegnon won’t be in contention.

Red Star are without Branko Jovicic and Milan Gajic as they are both sidelined with lengthy injuries.

Last Time They Met

You have to go back to December 1972 to find the last time Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade happened. Tottenham lost that match 1-0 in the UEFA Cup in Belgrade but Spurs won the first leg back in London as Martin Chivers and Alan Gilzean goals saw Spurs win 2-0.

Poch’s Thoughts

“In the Champions League you need to respect every opponent. It’s a different competition and they all have quality. Respect is most important. We are in a situation now where we need to improve and to be focussed on ourselves. We always try to focus on us and in this period, even more. Red Star have very good players, a very good squad and will be dangerous and if we are not ready to compete at our best it will always be difficult. Every game is important, and we need to recover our best feelings, play a solid game and try to win.”

“It’s always important to have our fans right behind us. They are always there, they always help us and we hope to provide them with a good performance and good result.”

How We See It

We are praying for Spurs to get back on the winning track but it won’t be easy. We are going with 1-0 Spurs.

 

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