Young Boys will meet Red Star Belgrade at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf as the two look to fight for a spot in this year’s Champions League group stages at 8pm on Wednesday. They’ve never faced off before, but the pair will get to know each other very well over the next 180 minutes or so in what should be a fascinating matchup.
Young Boys haven’t lost since mid July when Crystal Palace beat them in a club friendly, and they have started their league season in great form. First, they played out a draw with Servette on home soil which was rather disappointing, but Young Boys soon bounced back with a victory over Xamax away from home thanks to a strike from Nicolas Ngamaleu in the second half. Their next encounter was with Lugano in the beginning of August and on that occasion two goals was all they needed to see off the opposition, in a match which preceded their most recent win by three goals to two against St Gallen.
Red Star Belgrade have been in the Champions League qualifiers since the very first round of fixtures, and now they are hoping to break into the group stages again after being placed in a difficult group last season. In the opening round, Red Star eliminated Suduva 2-1 on aggregate after a 0-0 away result, and soon after that they were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline versus HJK. Thankfully, Red Star netted once at home so they advanced 2-3 overall, but their closest call arrived earlier this month when FC Copenhagen brought them all the way to penalties where Red Star were the eventual victors, 6-7.
Young Boys have quite a lengthy injury list right now made up of five players. Christian Fassnacht, Mohamed Ali Camara and Guillaume Hourau are likely to miss out, as well as Sandro Lauper and Miralem Sulejmani. Jean-Pierre Nsame bagged four goals in his last two appearances for the Swiss side, a brace in the wins versus St Gallen and another against Lugano. He’ll be looking to get on the scoresheet here too, while Nicolas Ngamaleu appears in the mood to create with two assists in the most recent outing.
The visitors won’t have any injury concerns barring some late setbacks for players within the camp, so manager Vladan Milojevic is already handed a boost before kick off. Richmond Boakye has scored three times in the Champions League qualifying stage of the competition, making him the top scorer in Europe for his team. The 26-year-old Ghanain will be on the hunt for more goals this week, along with Milan Pavkov who has gotten two so far.
With four goals in his past two appearances for Young Boys, Nsame is one of the favourites to hit home in this one. The attacker comes in @ 2.88 to net anytime as our first tip for Wednesday’s game. None of Red Star Belgrade’s six games in the Champions League have had more than three goals up to now, and with Young Boys entering this phase for the first time this season in midweek, it’s tough to call how they’ll react to a European match. This is why we’re looking to BTTS and under 2.5 goals @ 6.50 for our next tip. Each of Red Star’s last two outings in Europe have ended with this outcome, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen again.