Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Hoffenheim play host to famous Serbian side Crvena Zvezda at their PreZero Arena in what is expected to be a lively contest. The Bundesliga side are a real force to be reckoned with at home, and seeing that they crushed Bayern Munchen 4-1 in their last home fixture, it should come as no surprise bookies see them as favourites to win Thursday’s clash. Key attacker Andrej Kramaric is rated doubtful for the game, but regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, home win should be considered.
Crvena Zvezda have established themselves as the dominant force in Serbian football, but they were struggling in the Champions League last term, with the team conceding 20 goals in total in the group stages. Since both Kanga and Ivanic are quarantined for the visiting team, we predict that the Serbian champions are going to return to Belgrade empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Sebastian Rudy):
After spending his youth career at the likes of Dietingen, Zimmern and Stuttgart, Sebastian Rudy started playing for Stuttgart II at senior level. The right back, who is capable of playing as a midfielder as well, made 37 league appearances for the Stuttgart reserve team, scoring 12 goals in the process.
After making 15 appearances for the first team, he joined Hoffenheim in 2010 and he has been playing for the Bundesliga team ever since. Sebastian Rudy is very quick on the ball and he is able to deliver a decent cross. Rudy scored two goals in 24 league appearances for Hoffenheim in the 2015/2016 Bundesliga campaign.
Speaking of his international career, Rudy made his Germany debut on 13 May, 2014 in a friendly match against Poland in Hamburg. However, he did not make Germany Euro 2016 squad. Rudy has a contract with Hoffenheim which expires on 30 June, 2017.
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.