Being a Red Star supporter this preview is hard for me to write, but I have to be objective and admit that Bordeaux are clear favourites to win the game at Marakana.
Due to huge financial problems, Red Star have been operating on a really tight budget and that has prevented them from seriously reinforcing the squad over the last few transfer windows. The club kept signing players, but only those average ones they could afford, which is why the team clearly lack the quality to do something more in Europe. Following the good performance in the return leg against Omonia, Red Star exhibited all their weaknesses in the league game against Rad, when they conceded two goals with an extra man on the pitch before being able to earn a 2-2 draw. Coach Robert Prosinecki and key midfielder Evandro has since left the club, while Serbia Under-21 boss Aleksandar Jankovic agreed to take over as the next boss. The team now look in pieces and with several key players doubtful through injury, not even the help from some of the best fans in the world can help them avoid defeat to Bordeaux. Starting striker Filip Kasalica is out through suspension, whereas first team regulars Nikola Maksimovic and Luka Milivojevic are injury doubts. Important midfielder Cadu is out with a knee injury.
Following the Ligue 1 triumph in 2009, Bordeaux have been on the major downtrend, but the last season showed les Girondins are slowly returning to where they belong. The six-match winning run during the Ligue 1 season finale helped Bordeaux qualify for Europa League, while opening wins over Evian and Rennes at the start of the new league campaign proved les Girondis are slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with in one of Europe’s top leagues. Having been out of European competitions for so long, Francis Gillot’s troops are eager to do well against Red Star and everything suggests they will have an easy job in Serbia. Several important players have returned into action after recovering from injury, which has further improved the good atmosphere in the squad.
Victory for the visiting team is quite certain when we consider the condition of the home team.