Floriana will be aiming for a good performance and possibly a positive result as they take on FK Crvena Zvezda in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League at the Hibernians Stadium on Thursday, kick-off at 20:30.
Following a 3-0 win in the first leg, courtesy of a Richmond Boakye penalty in added time before the end of the first half and late goals by Slavoljub Srnic and Boakye once again.
Floriana coach Giovanni Tedesco said that in the first leg, they had prepared in a way to control such a high-ranking opponent but the whole turning point was the dismissal of Enzo Ruiz and the penalty. He admitted that it was a well-deserved victory for Red Star but the penalty and the dismissal made the whole difference.
As regards the second leg, Tedesco said “Tomorrow is a different game. While showing respect to such a strong team, we need to play to win.”
Tedesco is forced to make at least one change to the line-up with Clyde Borg or Juninho Cabral probably replacing the Argentine defender.
Crvena zvezda coach Vladan Milojevic said that despite the comfortable three-goal lead, they have maximum respect for Floriana and they are fully concentrated on this second leg. Milojevic said Floriana were well-organised played a good first half and is therefore expecting a good performance on Thursday.
About their objectives in the competition, Milojevic said that for a club like Red Star, reaching the group stage of the UEFA Europa League is a must.
Unless Floriana manage to overturn the result, this would be the third time Red Star Belgrade eliminated a Maltese club. In 1981, they eliminated Hibernians from the Champions Cup, winning 2-1 in Malta and 8-1 in Belgrade while last season, Red Star had defeated Valletta with two identical 2-1 scores in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
The winners play Irtysh Pavlodar or Dunav Ruse in second qualifying round.