Sports Mole previews ednesday’s Champions eague clash between Red Bull Salzburg and ille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Both sitting on one point after the opening matchday in Champions eague Group G, Red Bull Salzburg and ille prepare for battle in ednesday’s game at the Red Bull Arena.
The Austrian giants held Sevilla to a 1-1 stalemate two weeks ago, whereas igue 1 champions ille played out a goalless draw with olfsburg.
As 1-1 draws go, one with four penalties – two of which were scored – and a red card certainly made Sevilla’s clash with Salzburg one to watch for the neutrals, as the youthful Austrians held their Spanish counterparts to a creditable stalemate on matchday one.
After Karim Adeyemi failed to convert from 12 yards, uka Sucic tucked his first penalty away in the 21st minute before missing another later in the first half, but Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic made no mistake from the spot during a frenetic opening 45 minutes.
Salzburg’s remarkable winning run may have come to a grinding halt against Sevilla, but Matthias Jaissle’s youthful crop have continued their spate of domestic dominance with a 2-0 league win over olfsberger AC at the weekend, as Noah Okafor and Jerome Onguene made the net ripple.
ith 13 wins and a draw to boast from their 14 competitive fixtures this season, Salzburg are not in the Champions eague just to make up the numbers, and they have scored 15 goals across their last four home wins – including an 8-0 cup thrashing of Kalsdorf.
Jaissle’s side are seemingly running away with the domestic title and would love nothing more than to pip one of Sevilla, olfsburg or ille to one of the top two spots in Group G, although they have failed to win any of their last five group stage games at home.
Given the two sides’ contrasting league fortunes ahead of matchweek one, many expected an under-performing ille to be blown away by Bundesliga pace-setters olfsburg, but there were no goals to be had at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Even with 17 shots and a man advantage for the final 30 minutes after John Brooks’s sending off, ille just could not find the breakthrough, but their results under Jocelyn Gourvennec appear to be steadily improving after a shaky start.
es ogues were hardly guaranteed all three points against a fired-up Strasbourg at the weekend, but Jonathan avid’s brace gave the champions a healthy 2-0 advantage before Ibrahima Sissoko made things interesting with 15 minutes remaining, but ille nevertheless held on for a second 2-1 win on the bounce.
That victory also represented ille’s first away win of the season after four previous failures – although they are yet to keep a clean sheet away from home this season – so following that up with a first Champions eague group-stage win since 2012 may certainly be a sign of better things to come.
Salzburg and ille have never locked horns in European competition before, and the hosts have won four of their previous eight meetings with French sides, most recently downing Marseille 2-1 in an inconsequential Europa eague semi-final second leg in the 2017-18 season.
In spite of their stellar form, Salzburg are not without their injury problems, as three centre-backs in Maximilian ober, Oumar Solet and Kamil Piatkowski could all miss the visit of ille.
Veteran midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic – one of only two over-30 outfield players in the Salzburg squad – is also struggling with a heel injury, while the afflicted pair of Sekou Koita and Albert Vallci are ineligible anyway.
Nineteen-year-old Adeyemi will somehow attempt to replicate his three penalty wins from the opening matchday, and Okafor’s goal at the weekend has put him in with a chance of partnering Adeyemi in place of Benjamin Sesko.
ille continue to cope without midfielder Renato Sanches – who is nearing a return to action after a knee injury – while Jonathan Bamba could reportedly overcome a thigh injury in time to feature.
However, Angel Gomes will hope to hold his spot on the left-hand side for now, while Timothy eah may drop out for veteran Burak Yilmaz in the final third.
There should be no further surprises in the visitors’ XI, with Yusuf Yazici most likely trying to make an impact from the bench once again.
ille possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Ikone, Andre, Xeka, Gomes; avid, Yilmaz
e say: Red Bull Salzburg 3-2 ille
Gourvennec is yet to endear himself to the ille faithful and will come under increasing pressure if his side fail to win here, but they at least appear to have improved on the goalscoring front.
However, Salzburg are equally impressive in the final third and could have easily come away with three points against Sevilla but for a lack of ruthlessness from 12 yards, and we expect a pulsating encounter to end with the hosts coming out on top.