An intense autumn awaits Austrian football fans, as no fewer than four teams are represented in the group stage of the Champions and Europa League. In the premier class, series champion Red Bull Salzburg holds the flags high and has home rights on the first matchday on Wednesday evening. In Wals-Siezenheim there will be a duel between Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Although it is the first group game, this duel could be of enormous importance. After all, with defending champions Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid there are two heavyweights in Group A who should normally book the round of 16 ticket. So the Austrian champions and the Russian runners-up are fighting for third place, which would mean the Europa League in spring.
So it is all the more important to have a successful start and if the best bookmakers work, the chances for the home side are very good. Red Bull Salzburg against Lokomotiv Moscow offers odds of under 1.60 for the tip on home success. The game will kick off on Wednesday at 17:55 p.m.
More interesting previews and predictions from our authors for all games in the premier class can be found in the Champions League category.
Red Bull Salzburg:
The bulls had to put up with a lot of ridicule as they missed qualifying for the premier class year after year. After 25 years of abstinence, Salzburg took part in the Red Bull era for the first time thanks to a fixed place last year and was able to convince with attractive offensive football. The march team scored 16 goals in six games and was only the second team after Chelsea (2012/13) to miss the round of 16 despite 16 goals.
This season Austria did not enjoy a fixed starting place and so Salzburg had to go through the dreaded qualification again. However, this black spot has now also been erased and in the play-off round the eleven from the city of Mozart clearly got the upper hand against Maccabi Tel Aviv with a total score of 5: 1.
Although the Bulls did not shine over the 180 minutes of play against the Israelis, in the end, progress against a weakened team (countless illness-related losses) was never in danger. However, winning games without shining is also a great quality in some ways. Salzburg shows an irrepressible will to win and is now also mentally strengthened in order not to be thrown off course by setbacks.
The confidence is hard to put into words at the moment as the Bulls are celebrating one win after another. In the still young 2020/21 season, Salzburg has played eight competitive games and won all of them. No less than an unbelievable 35.
Expected formation of Red Bull Salzburg:
Stankovic – Ulmer, Wöber, Onguene, Kristensen – Szoboszlai, Mwepu, Junuzovic, Okugawa – Daka, Koita
With a respectable margin of 15 points behind Zenit Saint Petersburg, the capital city club took second place last season. But also the table runner-up in Russia has booked a fixed ticket for the premier class.
This is the third time in a row that Lokomotiv Moscow is in the group stage of the premier class, but had to pull out of sails after the preliminary round with only one win and five losses in both competitions. Ten defeats in the last twelve Champions League games mean a negative value, no other team has lost more games in the premier class in the recent past than Lokomotiv Moscow.
The top teams in Europe are probably a size too big for the Russians. Lokomotiv Moscow did not have a good record in the away games either. In the last 13 away games in the premier class, they had to return home ten times with no points in their luggage (one win, two draws). In this regard, a tip to the guests between Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow seems in no way recommendable on Wednesday evening.
After almost four years, the term of office of Yuri Semin ended in the finish of last season and the Serbian Marko Nikolic took over. With 16 points in the last eight games, he still led the club in second place. This makes him only the eighth Serbian coach to coach a team in the Champions League. With only 13 wins in 59 games so far, Serbian coaches have a bad win rate.
The Russian league has already played eleven game days and a good start with two wins was followed by five games without a win (three draws, two defeats). This mini-crisis has now been overcome and before the guest appearance in Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow celebrated four wins in a row and only had to accept one goal.
Expected location of Lokomotiv Moscow:
Guilherme – Rybus, Lystsov, Cerqueira, Zhivoglyado – A. Miranchuk, Kulikov, Krychowiak, Zhemaletdinov – Eder, Smolov