The hosts had gotten the better of Apollon 4-2 over two legs in the previous round tie, while Red star Belgrade secured a 7-0 aggregate win over Pyunik last week.
Maccabi Haifa will host Red Star Belgrade in the first leg of the Champions League Play-off tie at the Sammy Ofer stadium on Wednesday night. The hosts had gotten the better of Apollon 4-2 over two legs in the previous round tie, while Red star Belgrade secured a 7-0 aggregate win over Pyunik in the Champions League third qualifying round last week. Maccabi Haifa had won the Isreali top flight title to earn a spot in the Champions League qualifiers, while the visitors won the 2021-22 Serbia super Liga trophy to secure a place in the third qualifying round of Europe’s elite club competition.
— Maccabi Haifa FC (@mhfootballclub) August 17, 2022
The 2022-23 Isreali top division is yet to kickoff, therefore Maccabi Haifa have been concentrating only on the Champions League qualifiers. The Greens began their quest for a spot in the group stage of Europe’s elite club football competition with a 5-1 aggregate win over Olympiakos in the second round of qualifyication before defeating Apollon 4-2 over two legs in the previous round tie. In the first leg against Apollon, the Israeli outfit netted four times courtesy of an own goal by Mathieu Peybernes, a brace from Ali Mohamed and one goal from Frantzdy Pierrot. And then, in the away leg in Cyprus, the Greens conceded twice but managed to go through to the playoff.
Red Star Belgrade, on the other hand, are five games into the 2022 Serbia SuperLiga. Having won all of their league games so far, the Red-Whites are sitting at the top of the standings with 15 points, two points clear of second-placed side Cukaricki. The star had put seven goals past Pyunik without reply over two legs. After securing a 5-0 win in the first leg in Dedinje, Red star Belgrade scored twice in the away leg in Yerevan through strikes from Guelor Kanga and Milan Pavkov. Meanwhile in their recent outing against Vozdovac, goals from Aleksandar Pesic, Ousman Bukari El Nabouhane and Mirko Ivanic helped the Red-whites take all three points.
Maccabi Haifa defender Milan Rodic is back from suspension and is likely to feature on Wednesday. Haziza, Pierrot and David could form the front-three with Chery and Lavi pulling the strings in the midfield. As for Red Star Belgrade, Pesic and Katai are likely to form the attacking duo with Icvanic and Kangwa occupying the flanks. Milunovic and Dragovic could form the centre-back partnership with Erakovic and Rodic iccupying the full-back position.
Maccabi Haifa probable starting lineup: Cohen; Sundgren, Planic, Goldberg, Cornud, Chery, Lavi, Mahamed, Haziza, Pierrot, David
Red star Belgrade probable starting lineup: Borjan; Erakovic, Milunovic, Dragovic, Rodic, Kangwa, Kanga, Bukari, Ivanic, Pesic, Katai
The Champions League qualification fixture between Maccabi Haifa and Red Star Belgrade will take place at Sammy Ofer stadium on Thursday at 12:30 am IST.
|Maccabi Haifa vs Red Star Belgrade||Key details|
|Venue||Sammy Ofer stadium|
|Kickoff time in Israel||10:00 pm (Wednesday)|
|Kickoff time in Serbia||9:00 pm (Wednesday)|
Football fans in India can catch the live action via 5Sport, while for those in Serbia live coverage of the match is available on Arena Sport 1P and RTS 1.