Red Star against CSKA, Partizan against Victoria Plzen: First reactions to the draw for the knockout phase of Europa League!
The eternal rivals are starting in Europa League in the middle of February 2018
Red and Whites will go against CSKA in their European dream while Partizan will seek theirs in the matches against Victoria from Plzen.
First games will be on February 15th, and the rematch will be seven days later. Red Star will play its match on February 14th because the teams from the same city can't play at the same time. And since Partizan is the champion, they have the advantage.
Red Star - CSKA
Partizan - Viktorija Plzen
Celtic - Zenit
Spartak Moscow - Athletic Bilbao
Napoli - Leipzig
Borussia Dortmund - Atalanta
Nice - Lokomotiv Moscow
Astana - Sporting
Ludogorec - Milan
AEK - Dinamo Kiev
Lyon - Villarreal
Copenhagen - Atletico Madrid
Steaua - Lazio
Marseille - Braga
Ostersund - Arsenal
Sociedad - Salzburg
The rivals already organized gathering on Marakana and on Zemun, where they watched the broadcast live of the draw, and the journalists of Telegraf were on the scene.
- The team that has a vast tradition, good team, we don't have much information about them, but, as soon as they reached this phase, they must be one of the better teams. I had no wishes before the draw, they are a good opponent, we will see, we will fight - said the coach of Red Star Vladan Milojevic and he added:
- You can say that there are flaws and advantages. We will play two games, I hope that we will prepare with our fans. What is good is that they will come from preparation period, not from the competition, so they are unknown to us as much as we are to them, I think that those will be two interesting games.
Zvezdan Terzic, Managing Director of Red Star, commented on the draw and announced backups on Marakana.
- The team showed that they have a character. The draw could be better and they could be worse, they played in Champions league and we believe in quality and character of this team. I think that the chances are 50-50. We will have a good fight. However, I don't think that CSKA has it easy thinking about us, because we showed that it's not easy playing against Red Star.
- Goncharenko is the greatest trump card of CSKA, exquisite coach, organized team, and the greatest handicap for them and for us is that we are playing outside of competitional spirit, we can expect hell in Moskow in Russian winter.
- Red Star can become only stronger, 3 or 4 players will come, and the fans will be happy.
Then the coach of Partizan Miroslav Djukic shared his opinion on the match with Victoria.
- It will be hard, but we all wanted to get Victoria because there are a lot of difficult names, so Victoria sounded good, as we looked good for them. It will be hard, they are the champions of the Chezh Republic, and I think that the chances are 50-50. We showed that it's not important if we played home or as a guest. It is important to start well, to go with some advantage as a guest so we can sleep peacefully - Djukic was clear who commented the opponent of Red Star:
- Russians are always tough teams, it won't be easy.
Managing Director of Black and Whites Milos Vazura called from London:
- We can't say that we are not happy. The draw was not bad for Partizan. They are first in their league and it will be difficult. We are happy as much as them. We are just having a meeting with them - said Milos Vazura.
The pots before the draw looked like this:
Pot 1: CSKA Moscow, Atletico Madrid, Sporting, Leipzig, Villarreal, Milan, Arsenal, Lazio, Dinamo Kiev, Braga, Atalanta, Lokomotiva, Victoria Plzen, Salzburg, Bilbao, Zenit.
Pot 2: Celtic, Spartak Moscow, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Nice, Partizan, Red Star, Astana, Ludogorets, AEK, Lyon, Copenhagen, Steaua, Marseille, Ostersund, Sociedad.