Lille hosts Red Bull Salzburg in round 5 of the Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Tuesday, November 23rd at Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Villeneuve d'Ascq)
Lille sensationally beat Sevilla in Spain in the last round of the Champions League (1-2). After that victory, the Great Danes have five points in total and are in second place in the quartet. If they manage to win in the upcoming mid-weekend, they will be on the first line. By the way, having beaten Sevilla, Gourvennec's charges interrupted the streak without victories in the Champions League, which amounted to 12 matches! Lille took part in the Champions League group stage seven times in the 21st century, and only once did the team manage to make it to the playoffs. It happened in the 2006/2007 season. Now Lille continues its streak without home victories in the Champions League. It has ten matches: four draws and six losses. In four matches of the current group stage, the team has scored and conceded three goals.
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Salzburg is sensationally leading Group G. And even having lost to Wolfsburg in the last round (2-1), Matthias Jaissle's charges didn’t lose their first place. Let me remind you that the Red Bulls have seven points. The gap from the 2nd place is two points. If the Austrians win the upcoming game, they will lock up a spot in the Champions League playoffs ahead of schedule. If Wolfsburg loses in a parallel match, then Salzburg will definitely not fall below 1st place. Salzburg is not particularly successful in away Champions League matches. In the last six games, the Red Bulls gained only two victories and one draw, suffering three defeats. In the current Champions League, Salzburg has already played six matches. They all ended with an exchange of goals scored.
It will definitely be an interesting confrontation. Whatever one may say, the 1st place in the group is at stake. Bookmakers do not outline a clear favorite in this pair. But I believe that it is the visitors who have higher chances of winning. They are just stronger. Lille plays as close as possible, relying on counterattacks. The Austrians attack very powerfully. They can simply crush the defense of the Great Danes with their attacking actions. Moreover, the Red Bulls have a historic opportunity to advance to the Champions League playoffs. Just imagine what their motivation is.
Prediction for the match: Salzburg to win with +0.5 handicap