Our boys are on their first European away trip of the new season! The first leg of the UEFA Champions League play-off v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (21:00 CET, Bloomfield Stadium, live on DAZN) will take us to Israel. The match is the be officiated by an English team of officials led by referee Michael Oliver.
The match will take place against the strange backdrop of Israel going into a nationwide lockdown due to high Covid-19 infection rates, but UEFA still wanting the match to go ahead in Tel Aviv. As if that wasn't enough, the news broke at the weekend that more than six Maccabi players have tested positive for COVID-19.
High tempo amid high Temperatures
While there have been plenty of organsiational hurdles, the sporting preparations for the first play-off match have gone smoothly. Our 4-1 win at home against SCR Altach has maintained our 100% record this season. Jesse Marsch's boys' next challenge will be behind closed doors at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.
Maccabi fresh for first leg
The team coached by Greece's Georgis Donis, who have one point from two matches so far in the league, had a match-free weekend and go into Tuesday's clash fresh. Maccabi Tel-Aviv have reached this stage with wins over FC Riga (2-0), FK Suduva (3-0) and Dynamo Brest (1-0), and are therefore yet to concede a goal in qualifying while being awarded three penalties.
The full 90 minutes of the play-off encounter with Maccabi Tel-Aviv will be live on our Bullenfunk radio service. Live commentary can he heard on our Mobile App and our Website. It all starts ten minutes before kick-off!
Not available are Zlatko Junuzovic (thigh) and Oumar Solet (lack of training).
Jesse Marsch on …
… what needs to be done in Israel:
Our aim is to keep the tempo high despite the fact it'll probably be hot there. Then we can create difficulties for a very experienced and talented Maccabi team, and put us into a good position for the second leg.
Enock Mwepu on …
… the importance of the match:
We know just how important these matches are for us as players and for the club. We all really want to play in the Champions League, and we know too that it won't be easy for us as we have to play against a clever team. We are ready for the match though, physically and mentally!
most recent matches v teams from Israel:
24.08.2010 Hapoel Tel Aviv 1–1 FC Red Bull Salzburg
18.08.2010 FC Red Bull Salzburg 2–3 Hapoel Tel Aviv
25.08.2009 Maccabi Haifa 3–0 FC Red Bull Salzburg
19.08.2009 FC Red Bull Salzburg 1–2 Maccabi Haifa