Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thanks to a thrilling 4-0 win over Cluj, Crvena Zvezda moved one step closer to booking their place in the Europa League group stages. The Serbian champions looked sharp in front of goal in the first leg, meaning that towering attacker Milan Pavkov should keep his place in the starting XI. Milos Degenek, who suffered an injury in the first leg, remains in the recovery room, with Radovan Pankov likely to step up.
Anyhow, Dejan Stankovic’s troops are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in the return leg. The Romanian champions, on the other hand, have no other choice but to go all guns blazing at Crvena Zvezda. Since the Serbs are not regarded as good travelers, home win should be considered, but a tight one. A man to watch in the home team will be Billel Omrani, who produced a fine display in the first leg despite the heavy defeat.
Highlighted Player (Billel Omrani ):
Billel Omrani is a French footballer descent who plays for CFR Cluj as a forward. Born in Forbach on June 2, 1993, Omrani started his youth career at the age of six. Following spells with Merlebach and Gymnastique Marienau youth teams, Omrani moved to Marseille in 2007, and he continued playing for the OM senior team.
After scoring one goal in six appearances in the league for the club, Billel Omrani moved to CFR Cluj in 2016, but, in a meantime, he played for Arles-Avignon on loan as well. The French attacker has established himself as a first-team regular at the Romanian club, but he has yet to receive a call-up for the France national football team.
Omrani, though, has two caps with the France U19 team. His elder brother Abdelhakim is a footballer as well. Abdelhakim plays for Romanian club Dunarea Calarasi. Omrani’s favourite position in centre-forward, but he is used as a winger as well.
Highlighted Team (Crvena Zvezda):
Crvena Zvezda are the most famous club in Balkans. The Crveno-beli have 19 Yugoslav First League titles and have won eight domestic trophies since the breakup of Yugoslavia. Crvena Zvezda won their last league title in the 2015/2016 season, with the team finishing the campaign no less than 28 points clear of Partizan.
Speaking of Partizan, the Crno-beli are considered Crvena Zvezda’s bitterest rivals and the two teams meet in the “Eternal derby” (Veciti derbi). The capital club did well to win the European Cup title in 1991, with the team beating Olympique Marseile on penalties in the title game. That is considered the club’s biggest success, but it has to be noted that the Serbian club won the International Cup later in 1991. Crvena Zvezda outclassed Colo Colo of Chile (3-0) at National Stadium in Tokyo.
The likes of Dejan Savicevic, Vladimir Jugovic, Dragan Stojkovic, Dragoslav Sekularac, Rajko Mitic, Dusan Savic, Nemanja Vidic and Dejan Stankovic are some of the famous footballers who played for Crvena Zvezda in the past.