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One Team from Three in Group H
06 December 2017, 12:35
One Team from Three in Group H

Arsenal were always likely to win Group H and the Gunners remain the favourites to win the 2017/18 Europa League.

Below them in Group H an interesting battle is taking place for that all important second place, which also guarantees a place in the knockout stages of the competition.  Both Red Star Belgrade and Koln are on 6 points and the teams meet at the Stadion Rajko Mitic in a ‘winner takes all’ game.

For the home team, Red Star Belgrade, they know a draw could be enough to see them through as BATE Borisov, who are below them on 5 points must travel to London to play Arsenal and it is unlikely they will win that match.

However, Red Star Belgrade are not able to take risks and know they must try and win the game to have their future in their own hands.

Interestingly, despite sitting second in the group, Red Star Belgrade have won only one of their five matches but that win came in the reverse fixture at Koln.

They have also lost just one match, which was at home to Arsenal and have failed to win any of their last three Europa League games.  At home, Red Star Belgrade are yet to win a match in the Europa League this season and trends show they have failed to score in their last three games.

Koln make the trip to Serbia knowing they have little choice but to try and win the match. Having lost to Red Star Belgrade at home 1-0, a draw will not be good enough for the Bundesliga club because they would be eliminated on the head-to-head rule.

Koln have won twice as many matches as Red Star Belgrade in Europa League Group H, defeating BATE Borisov and Arsenal at home.  However, they have also lost three games, losing to each of the three teams in the group once.

They have been very exciting to watch, scoring 7 goals and conceding 7 goals and its only in their last two games they have managed to pick up any points in the group, to give themselves a chance of qualification.

Away form has been poor for Koln this season, not only in the Europa League but in the Bundesliga too and they are yet to win an away game in either competition.

Team news and Red Star Belgrade could have problems in attack with Nemanja Radonjic struggling to make the game and doubts over fellow forward Ricardinho.  This means Aleksandar Pesic and Richmond Boakye should start up-front.

Koln have a long injury list to contend with and Leonardo Bittencourt, Jhon Cordoba, Jonas Hector, Dominique Heintz, Marco Hoger, Marcel Risse and Simon Zoller will all miss the match.

Red Star Belgrade may not have scored many goals but they look strong at the back and Koln have a huge injury list to deal with, which will not help the away team.  This match may not see many goals but Red Star Belgrade should get the win they need to progress.

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