Tottenham Hotspur continue their search for a first win in this year's Champions League when they host Red Star Belgrade [Crvena Zvezda] in their third group game.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
Key Stat: Red Star Belgrade are on a six-game winning streak in all competitions, including beating Olympiakos in the Champions League.
Expert Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur's poor start to the season reached a nadir with the 7-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the last Champions League game and then 3-0 league defeat at Brighton. They scarcely improved at the weekend - needing a controversial late equaliser to snatch a point at home to winless Watford. Spurs really need to get back to winning ways in this match.
Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon are not expected to feature until next month, while Christian Eriksen joined them on the sidelines last time out with a dead leg. The Dane is expected back, however. Hugo Lloris’ horrific arm injury will keep him out until the new year.
Harry Kane – Scored in both Champions League matches so far this season on his way to seven Tottenham goals.
Son Heung-Min – Scored the opening goal against Bayern Munich in the last Champions League match, before it all went so horribly wrong for Spurs.
Paolo Gazzaniga – With Hugo Lloris out long-term, the substitute keeper must now step up – and that starts with improving Spurs’ record of nine goals conceded in two games in this competition this season.
Tottenham ended their losing streak at the weekend but only just. Facing bottom side Watford, they needed an 86th-minute equaliser from Dele Alli, amidst some VAR confusion, to scrape a point. They had lost their previous league fixture 3-0 at Brighton, having still seemed shell-shocked following their 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Son Heung-Min had actually put them in front in that game, before Harry Kane scored what only proved a consolation penalty amidst the Bayern onslaught that followed.
Defenders:Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose
Defensive Midfielders:Harry Winks, Eric Dier
Attacking Midfielders:Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min
Richmond Boakye has missed the last two matches and remains a doubt, with Milan Pavkov likely to lead the line again. Rajiv van la Parra could be handed a start on his return to England, though Veljko Simic has been in good form on the win too.
Milan Pavkov – The Serbian striker has scored seven goals in 13 appearances in all competitions so far this season.
Marko Marin – Three goals and seven assists for the German playmaker as the former Chelsea player prepares to return to London
Veljko Simic – The Serbian winger has scored five times so far this season, and needs to prove his worth ahead of Van La Parra and Vukanovic.
Red Star Belgrade have won their last six matches in a row in all competitions, including beating ten-man Olympiakos in the Champions League – Milos Vulic, Nemanja Milunovic and Richmond Boakye scoring as the they came from 1-0 down to win 3-1 after the Greek side was reduced to ten men. Since then, they have won 1-0 at Napredak in the Super Liga, 8-0 at Trepca in the cup and, last weekend, beat FK Rad 3-1 with Milan Pavkov, Marko Marin and Marko Gobeljic all on the scoresheet.
Defenders:Marko Gobeljic, Nemanja Milunovic, Milos Degenek, Milan Rodic
Defensive Midfielders:Dusan Jovancic, Jose Alberto Canas
Attacking Midfielders:Mateo Garcia, Marko Marin, Veljko Simic
Spurs and Red Star Belgrade have only met in Europe once before, in the UEFA Cup in 1972-73. Spurs progressed on aggregate from that third-round tie, winning 2-0 at home and losing 1-0 away.
Tottenham Hotspur come into this game in continued poor form but with a big opportunity to win at home to Red Star Belgrade and get their Champions League campaign back on track.
Spurs have seemed shell-shocked in recent weeks, particularly after their 7-2 thrashing – at home – at the hands of Bayern Munich last weekend.
But Red Star – though they come into this match on the back of a six-game winning streak – have a poor record away from home in Europe.
Their home win against Olympiakos owed much to the fact Yassine Benzia was dismissed too – with the Greek side having been 1-0 up at that point, with 33 minutes to play.
Spurs still have their key players from last season’s run to the final – in fact, with Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso injured, they have virtually the same team.
The biggest difference is Hugo Lloris’ absence through injury, but that gives Paolo Gazzaniga a big opportunity now.
Spurs are difficult to back because of their poor form, and a late point against winless Watford did little to suggest a turnaround is forthcoming.
But football is a confidence game – after snatching that point, perhaps it is the platform from which Spurs can rebuild their season.
Had this been the away fixture, it might have been a different story – a trip to Serbia will have been the last thing Spurs wanted at this stage of the season.
Instead, it is a home game against a team who do not travel well in Europe – and Spurs need to take advantage of that.
The odds for this match do not really reflect the form book, with Tottenham listed as 5/19 favourites with 10Bet.
Red Star will at least fancy their chances of scoring, if not getting more from this game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Both teams to score has been set at 10/11 with Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betway.
Spurs to win and BTTS will return 17/10 with Betfair, Ladbrokes and 888sport.
Harry Kane is a best price of 4/7 to score at any time with Betfair and Paddy Power, while Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura are both 6/5 with both.
Tottenham Hotspur have been in poor form, while Red Star Belgrade come into this game in good touch. Nevertheless, Saturday’s late goal may prove a turning point in Spurs’ season – this is a chance to get back to winning ways.