Red Star Belgrade V HJK Helsinki Betting Tips: Red Star to Nil – 24 July 2019

Serbian champs should be too strong in Belgrade

Champions League Tips

Red Star Belgrade V HJK Helsinki

Wednesday 24th July 2019 – 19:45 Kick-Off
UEFA Champions League Second Round
Pick: Red Star Belgrade Win to Nil
Odds: 20/21
Bookmaker: Boylesports

1 X 2
23/100 24/5 21/2

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of 22nd July 2019 at 23:04)

Preview: The Champions League has reached the second round stage. The hosts in this fixture, Red Star Belgrade, participated in last season’s group stage where they stunned eventual champions Liverpool to win 2-0 at home. The Serbian champions will be hoping for a similar outcome when they welcome Finnish champions HJK Helsinki to the cauldron that is their Rajko Mitic Stadium in Belgrade.

Champions League betting at 22Bet

 

Red Star Belgrade Preview – Fortress Belgrade catalyst for first-leg victory?

Last season, Red Star finally earned the right to sample the group stage of the Champions League following a lengthy spell out of the European spotlight. The experience was one to saviour. As despite collecting just four points to finish bottom of their section, they did famously beat a Liverpool side that would later become continental champions, as well as holding Italian giants Napoli to a goalless draw. Both results were earned at home, in what has become fortress Belgrade.

The Serbian champions in each of the past two seasons are, quite simply, irresistible on their own patch. There were those aforementioned results against Liverpool and Napoli, of course, but their league form was nothing short of stunning inside the ground formerly known as Red Star Stadium: 19 games played, 18 wins recorded, and not a single loss (W18 D1, GF51 GA7). Most impressive of all has been an ability to translate this formidable form in a European environment.

Successful qualification to last season’s Champions League group stage was largely down to strong performances at home, going unbeaten in all four qualifying rounds against Spartaks Jurmala of Latvia (W2-0), Suduva of Lithuania (W3-0), Spartak Trvana of Slovenia (1-1) and Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg (0-0). While a year earlier saw them secure home victories in every round en route to reaching the Europa League proper.

Clearly, Red Star Belgrade are a serious proposition with a raucous home support behind them. They were almost caught cold in the previous round, though, when winning by the odd goal at home to Lithuania’s Suduva (W2-1). If sufficiently warmed up on this occasion, they could take some stopping.

Red Star/Red Star (HT/FT Betting)
11/10

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HJK Helsinki Preview – Finnish champs capable of keeping this competitive?

Seemingly home and hosed upon comfortably winning the first leg 3-0 in Finland, HJK Helsinki were very nearly embarrassed by HB Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. The Finnish champions found themselves 2-0 down with an hour played of the second leg but fought back to earn a 2-2 draw and, in the end, qualify for the next stage with several goals to spare.

Nobody would have breathed a bigger sigh of relief come the end of the second leg than HJK manager Toni Koskela, whose decision to start several key players on the bench almost backfired. His mindset at the time was likely to keep some of his players fresh for tougher assignments, both domestically and in Europe, but particularly back home where his team have struggled to hit the heights of last season.

After cruising to a 29th league title in the last campaign, HJK are currently nowhere near the same high standards this time around as they languish down in fifth-place with seventeen matches played (W6 D8 L3). They’re also among the lowest scorers in the top half of the division, barely averaging a goal per game so far (1.12), with that figure dropping further still when on their travels (0.89).

It’s all a little worrying, ahead of such a daunting trek across Europe to tackle a team notoriously difficult to tame in their own backyard. HJK’s recent away form in Europe, however, isn’t all bad. Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, on only one occasion have they been beaten on their travels (W1 D2 L1). That was a 3-0 defeat in Slovenia to Olimpia Ljubljana. Moreover, last season’s goalless draw in Belarus, against BATE Borisov, was certainly eye-catching.

 

Red Star V HJK Helsinki Key Facts:

  • Red Star haven’t lost at home in Europe during the qualifying rounds since 2016 (W7 D3: last 10 at home in CL Qualifiers).
  • HJK Helsinki have lost one of their past four away matches in European qualifying (W1 D2 L1).
  • Red Star overcame Suduva of Lithuania 2-1 on aggregate to reach this stage. Meahwhile, HJK Helsinki beat Faroe Islands’ HB Torshavn 5-2.

 

Betting summary

Red Star Belgrade were sensational at home throughout the previous campaign, going the entire league season unbeaten there (W18 D1). That form was transferred over to their European performances, as they recorded memorable outcomes in Serbia against both Liverpool (W2-0) and Napoli (0-0) in the group stage. They’re also unbeaten in ten home games in European qualifying.

The visitors have it all to do if they are to register a positive outcome in the Serbian capital. HJK Helsinki are currently lagging behind the stunning domestic form produced during the previous campaign. They were also very complacent in the last round, against modest opposition.

It would be a shock, therefore, if the hosts weren’t victorious here. In their previous nine European matches played in Serbia during the qualifying rounds, Red Star have only shipped three goals, winning on five occasions without even conceding. The Finnish champions haven’t exactly been at their fluent best back home, either. A Red Star Belgrade win to nil has some logic to it.


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