Crvena Zvezda will take on Pyunik Yerevan, the visitors in the first leg UEFA Champions League qualifying semifinals. The match will take place at Stadion Rajko Mitic in Belgrade on Wednesday, August 3.
Crevena Zvezda remains the No. Serbia is the No. 1 power. The “Stars”, a football power since Yugoslavia, are often cited as a giant. It is enough to recall the victory at the European Cup three decades ago, in the beginning of the 1990s. That generation’s power is gone. Gazprom’s strong support has allowed it to continue to win domestic stamp titles year after year, thanks in large part to its controversial and unpopular sponsor. Even though Partizan was excellent in 2021/2022, it was not the last draw. European competition has a lot to be proud. The Champions League group stage was reached by the Serbs in 2018 and 2019. They were eliminated in qualification. However, they reached the Europa League twice and made it to the spring playoffs.
Pyunik was a mainstay of this qualification. They won the championship title in spring 2015. This was the beginning of the “Academy”. Although it is far from being the first time in its history, the “Academy” began with the fact that they won the championship title in spring 2015. Even now, Yeghishe’s wards can be heard in qualifying, even after a brief summer vacation. They tortured a pass on the CFR. First, they held on to a 2-2 draw in Cluj. Then, they knocked out Dan Petrescu, the Romanians, on penalties. The second round saw Dudelange’s defeat. The champion of Luxembourg was defeated at home but only marginally. The visitors from the Caucasus scored 4 goals after conceding first at home. Juricic’s performance in the second half was particularly impressive. He put his team ahead at the break, and scored the final goal in the 85th minute. The Bosnian will now have an opportunity to show his skills against one of the major clubs in the former Yugoslavia.
Pyunik has been in European competitions before, but without any real success. It is therefore not surprising that the Armenian champion will be making his first trip to Belgrade. Pyunik is the football Cinderella in this qualification. But, maybe they have reached their peak. We placed a bet on Crvena Zvezda’s victory with a handicap “-1.5 goals”.
Prediction: Crvena Zvezda will win with a -1.5 handicap