Milan visit Crvena Zvezda in the knockout-phase of the Europa League. Alongside Manchester United and Tottenham, the Rossoneri are considered favourites for the competition and will be keen to come away with a healthy advantage as they bid to reach the Round of 16. Elsewhere, the hosts are nine points clear in the Serbian SuperLiga.
Where and when: Stadion Rajko Mitić, Belgrade – 18 February, kick-off 17:55
Where you can see Crvena Zvezda vs. Milan: BT Sport Digital Exclusive
Last time: The sides met in the third-round of qualifying for the Champions League in 2006-07 and it was Pippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf who ensured Milan’s safe passage to the group stage. The Italian heavyweights went on to lift the trophy at the expense of Liverpool in the final.
Crvena Zvezda v Milan Predictions and Preview
The Red-Whites will be led by a familiar face in Dejan Stanković. The treble winner under Jose Mourinho had an illustrious career in Serie A, claiming multiple honours with Lazio and, more notably, Inter. The retired midfielder will relish the encounter with the club he jostled with for well over a decade and is managing a squad full of confidence.
Mirko Ivanic, Aleksandar Katai, Ben and Diego Falcinelli will be tasked with inflicting more misery on Milan after their recent domestic slump and Stanković is likely to unleash the quartet from the opening whistle.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Franck Kessié to score anytime||5/2||Offer|
|Milan to win 2-0||17/2||Offer|
|Over 3.5 goals||12/5||Offer|
Falcinelli turned out for 10 different teams in his homeland before moving to Serbia and has flourished in his first season. The Marsciano native is 5/2 to strike anytime and team-mate Ben is available at 11/4. The Zvezda number 31 has hit double figures in each of the last three campaigns and will be integral to the home dressing room’s chances of taking a lead to San Siro. The Red-Whites are 13/5 to emerge triumphant and a stalemate is 12/5.
Stefano Pioli will be expecting a reaction from his troops after the shock loss to promoted Spezia. The Rossoneri are at full strength and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ante Rebic and Mario Mandzukic can all expect to feature in some capacity.
Rossoneri top scorer Ibrahimovic is 3/1 to open proceedings and the talisman is close to penning a new contract with the title hopefuls. Meanwhile, Calhanoglu is 13/2 in the same market and is entering the final six months of his current deal.
The playmaker has reportedly rebuffed interest from a host of Premier League outfits to commit his long-term future to Milan and was one of the standout performers on the continent prior to his ankle injury. Flying full-back Theo Hernandez is an attractive 7/1 to bag anytime and Pioli’s troops are 10/11 to clinch a much-needed victory.
One to watch for Crvena Zvezda: Ivanic averages one in two from the middle of the park and is 10/3 to net anytime.
One to watch for Milan: Mandzukic was brought in to ease the burden on Ibrahimovic and will be a regular in the remaining European matches. The ex-Juventus hero is 11/2 to notch last.
Long shot: Red Star pose a serious threat to Milan and are formidable on home soil. Stanković’s group have yet to taste defeat at Rajko Mitić in 2020-21 and have taken some famous scalps over the years. A 2-2 outcome, leaving the tie finely poised, is 15/1.