Five Red Star Belgrade players have tested positive for coronavirus, the Serbian champions confirmed.

Red Star quintet Marko Gobeljic, Njegos Petrovic, Dusan Jovancic, Marko Konatar and Branko Jovicic contracted COVID-19.

Gobeljic, Petrovic, Jovancic and Konatar had symptoms prior to Saturday's season finale and did not attend the match as a precaution.

It comes after Dejan Stankovic's Red Star celebrated a third successive SuperLiga title in front of fans in Belgrade on Saturday – defeating Proleter Novi Sad 2-1.

Red Star also played in front of a near 25,000 capacity crowd for the Serbian Cup semi-final against bitter rivals and neighbours Partizan, who won 1-0 on June 10, following the easing of coronavirus restrictions in the country.

"The aforementioned players are feeling well, and are in strict isolation as well as constant contact with the club's medical team," Red Star said in a statement on Monday.

"The condition of the players is being carefully monitored and a new test will be performed before the start of the preparations for next season."

Red Star added: "It is important to point out that all other players, management and staff who were in direct contact with the first team have received a negative result. Red Star is taking all necessary protection measures and we will continue to do so."

 

Partizan head coach Savo Milosevic hailed the club's supporters after fans flocked to watch the Serbian Cup holders upstage bitter rivals Red Star Belgrade following the coronavirus pandemic.

Serbian football resumed behind closed doors on May 29 but there were no restrictions on crowd numbers on Wednesday as defending champions Partizan beat neighbours Red Star 1-0 in the semi-finals.

A near 25,000 capacity crowd watched Partizan move a step closer to a fifth successive Serbian Cup crown following Bibras Natcho's 58th-minute winner at Stadion Partizana midweek.

"I thank the fans for their fantastic support and it was great to grind out this win in front of a full house," Milosevic said.

"Having that kind of support was absolutely imperative today. It was great to see a near-capacity crowd after such a long barren spell."

After a limited number of fans watched Red Star rout Radnik Surdulica 4-1 on Saturday, a full house greeted Dejan Stankovic's men in the Serbian capital.

Red Star have already wrapped up a third consecutive league title, but they were denied a first league and cup double since 2006-07.

Milosevic, who was appointed last year and claimed the Serbian Cup in his first season, added: "I think we did pretty well in a very tough match and reaffirmed that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

"It was tense, tempers flared here and there but no one crossed any lines and credit to Red Star too for their sportsmanlike behaviour."

Seven-time champions Partizan will face Vojvodina in the final on June 24.

Celebrating another league title in front of a packed Rajko Mitic Stadium is the hope for Red Star Belgrade defender Milos Degenek as football returns in Serbia following the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally, with Serbia's SuperLiga among the competitions to have been suspended since March due to the outbreak – the Olympic Games and Euro 2020 were pushed back 12 months.

Red Star were 11 points clear of bitter rivals and neighbours Partizan Belgrade atop the table when the SuperLiga was halted but the defending champions will have the chance to clinch their third consecutive title when the league resumes, albeit in a condensed format, for the final four rounds on Friday.

Serbian powerhouse and 1991 European Cup champions Red Star will play behind closed doors when they travel to lowly Rad Beograd but Degenek is optimistic a full house will be in attendance for the club's final home fixture of the campaign against Proleter Novi Sad on June 20.

"We need one more point to seal the league," Australia international Degenek told Stats Perform News. "That's going to be on Friday night, hopefully we do the business there. Then we have three more games left and I think the last game of the season is at home.

"I hope by that time that they do let the fans in the stadium because there's talk here that maybe they can get fans into the stadium, maybe not. We're not 100 per cent sure there won't be any fans and we're not 100 per cent sure there will be. 

"But I think we will find a way somehow to celebrate with the fans, whether it's inside the stadium or outside. Obviously it's different when you win a title with no one in the stadium to when you win a title with 40,000 in the stadium. There's a difference and I hope the stadium is full by the time the title comes around. If not, then we will find a different way to celebrate."

"It's a been a long way away from football," added Degenek following the enforced break from football, with the centre-back braced for a hectic schedule after the Socceroos' World Cup qualifiers were also postponed, which is set to put a strain on his typical off-season plans. "Obviously we trained and maintained our fitness but just the fact you lack that pure competition, the games, winning, checking the ladder, checking how other teams went, so that's what has been missing for a while. It kinds of get depressing when you can't play every week. It gets even more depressing when you realise it wasn't a break, it was just due to health issues and reasons. Happy that it's back after a while and hopefully it never stops again.

"I'm just really excited and looking forward to getting back on track, getting back into the real world and I hope within a month or so there will be full stadiums again in the world of football. I hope this pandemic stays away for a while so no one has issues and no one is scared, the fact we can live our normal lives again and people who love football can live their normal lives again on a Saturday and Sunday, and take their kids and family to a game."

While the likes of Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom have been hit hard by coronavirus, Serbia has managed to contain the outbreak in comparison, with more than 11,200 confirmed cases and 239 registered deaths.

"To be really, really honest with you, I think 95 per cent of the people here believe and know there's no virus, nothing going on," Degenek said. "Ninety-five per cent of people here think it's just a media hoax, due to all other reasons apart from an actual virus. A lot of people wear masks and gloves, but the people I'm around with and especially when we train, none of us believe there's an actual virus and something is actually happening. 

"Even now when you walk along the streets, you sit at restaurants, you go out at night to a restaurant and there's live music, people on top of each other. I think because my fiancé, she works in a hospital, and she knows there's a lot more people that die due to a normal virus than this coronavirus. I guess coronavirus has been quite well pushed in the media, got its popularity up and everyone got scared but I don't really talk much about it, I don't really care to be honest as long as my football starts back."

Germany's Bundesliga and the K League in South Korea have already returned this month amid social-distancing measures – no celebrating goals or shaking hands.

Those guidelines have baffled Degenek, who said: "I don’t understand the fact that you can't shake hands in a game and can't celebrate a goal but in the corner I'm hugging a player. My sweat is going on his sweat, there's head collisions, some people will bleed, things like that happen. 

"You tackle someone, someone spits on someone… I'm saying stupid things but I don't understand why you can't celebrate a goal when in a corner you can hug someone, slide tackle someone, you can hug someone during the game, move someone around, there's physical contact, it's not as if we're playing basketball or handball and there's not much contact."

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, a club great returned to Belgrade – Dejan Stankovic.

The 41-year-old, who played for Red Star between 1995 and 1998 before enjoying spells at Lazio and Inter, succeeded Vladan Milojevic as head coach in December.

It is Stankovic's first senior job following a brief period as a coach at Inter's academy last year and the 103-time Serbia international has been tipped for a successful career in the dugout.

"I was very excited that a player that he was has now become a coach and gets to coach me because he was won everything there is to win in club football," Degenek said of Stankovic, who won the treble with Inter under Jose Mourinho as part of a 15-piece trophy haul at San Siro to go with Serie A and other silverware at Lazio. 

"He has had some of the best managers in the world and I see in the past few months that we've had him, I've learned a lot. I've come across a lot of footballing ideas and things he wants. I'm very happy to have him as a coach but a friend as well. The way he has started here, I think he will have a good coaching career. I'm almost certain he will because he has so much determination, will, the drive to learn and to push. I think he will have a very good coaching career and it's very exciting to have him here with us."

Milojevic restored Red Star's position at Serbia's summit, but more importantly, he led the capital side back to the Champions League in 2018 – having not featured in Europe's premier club competition since 1992 – and again this season before vacating his position and eventually moving to Saudi side Al-Ahli in February.

"Very sad to see him leave but towards the end of his time, I think you could've seen there wasn't much more he could do," Degenek, 26, said. "You just see when someone is exhausted, when they have done everything and put their life into it. He obviously got the reward, he got a new job in Saudi Arabia which is financially rewarding and he deserves that.

"Also, he done a lot of things for this club which no other manager has done. Obviously very grateful to have him as my coach, also he is a very good person. Happy for him to move on in his career and also happy that I got to work with him and happy he was the one that pushed Red Star into a way that the club should be going, which is forward and in a brighter future."

When you hear the name Red Star Belgrade, you think of the famous 1991 European Cup winners.

You think of Serbia's most successful football side with 30 titles, the grand Rajko Mitic Stadium and Red Star Belgrade's basketball team from the famous multi-sports club.

Belgrade is a city steeped in history and known for its passion for football and basketball. It is not synonymous with rugby league. But one Australian is changing that.

Colin Kleyweg is the owner of the fledgling Red Star Belgrade rugby league team, who are unbeaten in the whole Balkan region since November 2018, winning 10 consecutive trophies.

"I met a Serbian lady about 13 years ago," Kleyweg, who also serves as a director of the Rugby League European Federation, told Stats Perform. "We got married about 11 years ago and we started businesses together in Serbia because we run an engineering consultancy business here in Australia. So, we set it up in Belgrade as well about nine years ago.

"When we were there, we wanted to start giving back to the community and we found rugby league. I love it and my wife has fallen in love with it too. So, we started helping the Serbian federation first, then in January 2017 we met the guys at Red Star and they basically said, 'What would you think about doing something?' And we said yes."

Led by Australian former NRL head coach Phil Economidis, Red Star are making a splash. A member of the Red Star Sports Society, the rugby league team were recognised as the most successful club within the entity this year with 13 titles since 2014. They also played in the Challenge Cup in 2019.

In a city with a strong thirst for football and basketball, rugby league is a new concept but Kleyweg is still dreaming big.

He added: "The issue is, it's an unheard sport. Every time I bring people to it, of Serbian descent, and they sit next to me and I tell them what's happening, they're riveted. They absolutely love it. They've just said this sport is perfect for the Serbian psyche and the Serbian body type: the prototype centres and running backrowers."

Red Star had intended to apply to the Rugby Football League for a place in League 1 – the third tier in the United Kingdom – possibly as soon as 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic scuppered those plans, with Kleyweg now focusing on forming a European club competition.

"We have to play the right teams," Kleyweg said. "Luckily I'm also on the board of the European Federation. A year or so ago, I was put in charge of a working group to examine a professional European rugby league club competition. My dream is to have a much smaller version of the Euro League basketball."

So, what is the standard of rugby league like in Serbia?

"They are technically very good, and they have the body shape and mass for it," Kleyweg said. "The mentality, too. They're already punching well above their weight. In any sport, you need people to be able to coach and to teach the intricacies of the game. A lot of the boys, they don't start playing until they hear about it. We have a very small number of men who were trained as juniors. From five or six clubs, you really have a pool of about 20 players that are capable of playing against English opposition.

"One of the best things I ever did was bringing Phil, having NRL experience as well – they just soak up everything. I've been slowly integrating players into full-time structures. Instead of training once or twice a week because a lot of them have jobs, they can get proper sleep, better nutrition."

There is a strong Australian influence on the club. Kleyweg, though, has since steered away from an influx of Aussie and international players in an attempt to improve the standard of Serbians.

"I brought over some Aussies previously. I wanted the players to see the level and the professionalism needed," he continued. "When I did bring over internationals, we started slaughtering every team we played. In recent years, we win on average by 60 points, so there's no need for that. I've taken out those players because we don't need to do that.

"Partizan [neighbours and bitter rivals] are now getting much, much stronger, which is good. They're building a nice rivalry with us, which is standard. This year, we beat them with a very Serbian-only team, which I'm proud of. We are the first Serbian side to beat English opposition. That's part of the plan. I want to teach the boys the right mental approach to it. Serbians can be a bit like the French: when they're losing, they can drop their heads and start to perform poorly. We've had that in the national team. I want the players to develop a resilience. I want to see them in a match where you should really lose but somehow find a way to win."

Mikel Arteta looks to be on his way out of Manchester City, and it may not be long before he is followed by Pep Guardiola.

That is if reports linking Paris Saint-Germain with a move for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach are to be believed.

Meanwhile, Arteta is not the only big managerial appointment expected imminently in the Premier League, with Carlo Ancelotti close to being confirmed as Everton boss, and reports suggest a big-name could be in line to follow the Italian to Goodison Park.

 

TOP STORY – GUARDIOLA LINED UP BY PSG

According to Le10 Sport, Paris Saint-Germain will look to swap Thomas Tuchel with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola next season.

Guardiola is currently under contract with City until 2021, though has said he is open to extending his deal. However, these reports claim PSG will aim to bring in the Spaniard, along with former Barca star Xavi, who will act as his number two.

While City are 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, PSG are top of Ligue 1 and will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Mauricio Pochettino is holding off on making any commitment to Real Madrid as he waits to see how Guardiola's situation at Manchester City plays out.

- According to The Telegraph, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is open to linking up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton. Ancelotti is reportedly set to be appointed by the Toffees and Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to Milan and Napoli – could follow him to Merseyside.

Mesut Ozil is close to securing a loan move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce in January, according to Turkish newspaper Fotomac.

- Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. has been linked with a move to the Premier League. El Desmarque reports Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves are all interested in the Brazilian.

- Another potential outgoing from Arsenal could be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with The Mirror saying one of Arteta's first tasks will be to convince the Gunners' captain to stay put.

- Sky Sports reports Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are all monitoring Lille forward Victor Osimhen, who has scored nine Ligue 1 goals this term.

- Inter great Dejan Stankovic is poised to become head coach of Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade. After Vladan Milojevic stepped down on Thursday, reports in Serbia claim the former Red Star midfielder will be unveiled on Friday. This is set to be Stankovic's first senior job.

Tottenham are considering a January move for Leicester City full-back Ricardo Pereira, says Het Nieuwsblad.

Olympiacos forward Youssef El-Arabi claimed the never-say-die attitude of his team-mates helped them secure Europa League football next year.

El-Arabi scored an 87th-minute penalty to give Olympiacos a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in their final Champions League Group B match on Wednesday.

The victory enabled Olympiacos to climb above their opponents into third spot and ensured the Greek side will take part in continental competition in 2020.

Morocco international El-Arabi said: "We had many attempts to score, but sometimes, regardless of the volume of opportunities, the ball just wouldn't go in. 

"But we didn't give up and succeeded in the end. Most important, we held on to qualify.

"I admit it wasn't easy to take that penalty. But I am glad, because we had to win the match and qualification rested on that spot-kick.

"I congratulate my team because we fought until the last minute and that penalty was the compensation of our efforts.

"Congratulations also to their goalkeeper, who had a great performance."

Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan refused to blame team-mate Tomane for his penalty miss in the first half but acknowledged the team need to do things differently in future European campaigns.

"In order to be more competitive in Europe, we have to change a lot as a team," he told reporters afterwards.

"We need to look at ourselves, look at each other, be honest and change a lot of things. 

"For example, today we didn't have ball possession which we needed. We tried to counter-attack more, it didn't happen. 

"Our concentration in the last minutes fell down."

Borjan produced a heroic performance between the posts as he made several brilliant saves and was disappointed for it to ultimately be meaningless.

"It's not only me, the whole team fought hard, they gave it all, running, sliding," he said.

"We were so good at the back, but such things happen and you lose games. We came very close to our objective, but this is life. 

"This is football, you know? We have to continue now. We need to focus now on the championship and the cup and win them."

Red Star head coach Vladan Milojevic added: "It is obviously not a nice feeling to lose.

"I think we prepared well for the match, but we just did not realise the chances we had. We probably could have played better, and we will analyse and learn from this."

Youssef El-Arabi scored a dramatic late penalty to give Olympiacos a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade that secured third place in Champions League Group B and a spot in the Europa League.

The spot-kick was emphatically converted three minutes from full-time by the Morocco forward after Brazilian defender Jander handled a cross inside the penalty area.

Red Star, who just needed to avoid defeat to finish third, had been awarded a penalty of their own in the first half but Portuguese forward Tomane blasted it against the crossbar.

The result ensured Olympiacos finished on four points - a point ahead of bottom side Red Star.

 

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has his sights set on a slice of Champions League history when Tottenham visit the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

The Poland international needs two goals against Jose Mourinho's side to claim the record for goals in the group stage of a single campaign – an honour held by Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 11 in 2015-16 for Real Madrid.

Atletico Madrid will book their place in the last 16 if they beat Lokomotiv Moscow, while Shakhtar Donetsk will join Manchester City in progressing from Group C if they overcome Atalanta.

In Group A, already-qualified Paris Saint-Germain host Galatasaray and Real Madrid – who have also booked their place in the knockout stages – travel to Club Brugge.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's eight matches.

Club Brugge v Real Madrid

7 - This is the seventh Champions League group stage campaign which Club Brugge have failed to progress from. No side has ever competed in more group stages without progressing from any in the history of the competition.

2 - Karim Benzema has scored two goals in each of his last two Champions League games. Only four players have scored two or more in three consecutive games - Giovane Elber (2001), Filippo Inzaghi (2002), Cristiano Ronaldo (2013, twice in 2017) and Lewandowski (2018).

Paris Saint-Germain v Galatasaray

18 - PSG striker Kylian Mbappe has scored 18 goals in 29 appearances in the Champions League. If he scores twice in this game, Mbappe would become the youngest player in the competition's history to reach 20 goals, aged 20 years and 356 days.

1 - Galatasaray scored their first goal of the 2019-20 Champions League campaign in their last game against Club Brugge, ending a run of 38 shots without scoring from the start of the campaign. In total, they have only scored once from 43 shots in the competition this term.

Bayern Munich v Tottenham

16 - Bayern Munich had 16 shots on target in their 6-0 win over Red Star Belgrade on matchday five; the most by a team in this season's Champions League. Bayern last had more in a Champions League game in October 2013 against Viktoria Plzen (18).

2 - New Spurs manager Mourinho has lost both of his previous away games against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, losing in the quarter-finals with Chelsea in 2004-05 and the semi-finals with Real Madrid in 2011-12.

Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade

1 - Olympiacos have picked up just one point from their five Champions League games this season. Only in 2017-18 (one) have they picked up one point or fewer from a completed group stage.

19 - Red Star have conceded 19 goals in their five Champions League games this season, more than any other side. There have been just five occasions of a team conceding 20+ goals in a single group stage in the competition, most recently by Legia Warsaw in 2016-17 (24).

Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City

5 - Dinamo Zagreb have picked up five points in this season's Champions League. Only in 1998-99 (eight points) have they won more in a single group stage in the competition. 

19 - City’s Raheem Sterling has scored 19 goals in 46 appearances in the Champions League. He could become the sixth Englishman to reach 20 goals in the competition after Wayne Rooney (30), Paul Scholes (24), Frank Lampard (23), Steven Gerrard (21) and Harry Kane (20). Should Sterling score in his 47th appearance, he would be the second quickest Englishman to 20 Champions League goals after Kane (24 appearances).

Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta

5 - Shakhtar Donetsk are without a win in each of their last five Champions League home games (drawn three, lost two). It is their longest ever winless run at home in the competition.

2 - Atalanta have lost their last two away games in the Champions League, conceding nine goals in the process. They last lost three consecutive away matches in all European competition back in October 1987.

Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow

2 - Atletico Madrid have lost consecutive matches in the Champions League; they've never lost three in a row in the competition. The Spanish side last lost three consecutive games in all European competitions back in October 1984 in the UEFA Cup.

0 - Lokomotiv Moscow have never won an away game against Spanish opposition in all European competition, losing six of their seven such games and failing to score in each defeat.

Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus

3 - Bayer Leverkusen have benefited from three own goals in this season's Champions League, with only two teams benefiting from more in a single campaign: Inter in 2002-03 (four) and Barcelona in 2017-18 (five).

27 - Juventus forward Ronaldo has scored 27 goals in 24 Champions League appearances against German clubs; the most a single player has accumulated against sides from a particular nation in the competition's history.

Robert Lewandowski claimed to be addicted to scoring goals after he led Bayern Munich to a 6-0 rout over Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Lewandowski was at his awe-inspiring best on Tuesday as he scored four times in little more than 14 second-half minutes at Rajko Mitic Stadium.

His efforts inspired a fourth successive win, with 16 goals scored and none conceded, for interim boss Hans-Dieter Flick – the best start of any Bayern coach.

The Poland international's quadruple was also the fastest in the history of the Champions League, as Lewandowski joined Lionel Messi as the only players to score four goals in a game in the competition on more than one occasion.

And according to the 31-year-old, scoring goals is an addiction.

"I have to confess... I am addicted to scoring goals," Lewandowski – who has already scored 27 times from 20 appearances in all competitions so far this season – tweeted.

He added to Sky Sport: "The most important thing is that we played well, defensively and offensively, we have fun, no matter who plays, we follow our plan.

"I'm also happy if I do not score and we win nevertheless."

Lewandowski's stunning second-half show came after he had seen a superb strike ruled out by the VAR for a handball from Corentin Tolisso before the break.

That followed Leon Goretzka's opener, while Tolisso rounded off the scoring late on.

"Robert is in such good form," said Flick, who is reportedly in line to remain as Bayern's coach until at least the end of the season, in his post-match news conference. 

"He is professional and works really hard and got his rewards tonight. He's a really important player for us."

With top spot in Group B now secured, Bayern face Jose Mourinho's Tottenham, who are also through after a 4-2 comeback win over Olympiacos, in their next Champions League outing.

Robert Lewandowski continued his extraordinary form with a four-goal haul as Bayern Munich secured top spot in Champions League Group B with a 6-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade.

Leon Goretzka put Bayern – rejuvenated under Hans-Dieter Flick – in front, but it was Lewandowski who was the star of the show at Rajko Mitic Stadium on Tuesday.

Having been denied a goal by VAR earlier on, Lewandowski tore Red Star to shreds with four goals in 14 second-half minutes – the quickest quadruple in Champions League history.

After doubling Bayern's lead with a composed penalty, Lewandowski tucked in a close-range second before completing an 11-minute hat-trick with a header.

He was not done there and moved onto 10 Champions League goals for the season in typically composed fashion, with Corentin Tolisso adding further gloss late on.

Lewandowski did not have a great start, missing a fantastic chance early on, slicing wide with only Milan Borjan to beat.

Borjan was called into action moments later to deny Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman, though Red Star's goalkeeper could do little to prevent Goretzka's towering header finding the top-left corner of the net soon after.

Goretzka would have had a second with a stunning volley if not for acrobatic goalkeeping from the busy Borjan, who then kept out Philippe Coutinho's excellent free-kick.

Lewandowski thought he had curled in an exceptional second for Bayern five minutes before the break, only for VAR to rule the goal out for a handball from Tolisso.

The Poland international had his goal eight minutes into the second half, coolly sending Borjan the wrong way from 12 yards after Milos Degenek's handball.

Tolisso turned provider for Lewandowski again on the hour, with the goal standing this time despite Red Star's appeals for offside.

A fine header rounded off Lewandowski's hat-trick and the former Borussia Dortmund man calmly slotted in his fourth three minutes later.

Tolisso hit the crossbar with five minutes remaining, but there was still time for him to thump in from close-range to complete the rout.

 

What does it mean? Four on the bounce for Flick

Mauricio Pochettino has been heavily linked with taking over at Bayern, yet Flick – who is reportedly set to remain in charge until the end of the season - has started brilliantly with four successive wins, the Bavarian giants scoring 16 goals without conceding.

While Bayern can now look forward to a potentially favourable draw in the last 16, Red Star must avoid defeat against Olympiacos in their last group outing to secure a Europa League place after Tottenham sealed second place.

No stopping lethal Lewandowski

Undoubtedly the most in-form striker in European football, Lewandowski is already closing in on 30 goals for the season.

He was level with Lionel Messi on 31 group-stage goals since the 2014-15 start of the season prior to this drubbing, but now leads the way, having netted in his last nine group matches in a row.

Red Star's tactics no match for Bayern

Vladan Milojevic's gameplan was clear from the off for Red Star, but they never stood a chance against Bayern's rampant frontline and once they went 1-0 down, their coach had no plan B.

What's next?

Bayern return to Bundesliga action against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, while Red Star host Vozdovac in their upcoming Serbian Super Liga outing.

Real Madrid still have work to do in their bid to reach the last 16 of the Champions League as they prepare for the visit of Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG are already through to the knockout stages and opponents Madrid can join them with victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

On-loan striker Mauro Icardi has been in inspired form for the French champions since joining from Inter, scoring 10 times in 11 appearances.

The 26-year-old failed to register in the reverse fixture at the Parc des Princes – a 3-0 win for PSG in September – but he can make some history should he score on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, victory for Atletico Madrid away to Juventus will make certain of a last-16 spot with a game to spare, while Jose Mourinho takes charge of Tottenham in the Champions League for the first time as they welcome Olympiacos to north London.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Tuesday's eight matches.

Galatasaray v Club Brugge

0 - Galatasaray are the only team in this season's Champions League yet to score. There have been six previous occasions in which a team have failed to score in their opening five games, including the Turkish side in the 1993-94 season.

1 - Club Brugge have won just one of their last 18 Champions League games, with that victory coming away at Monaco in November 2018.

Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen

8 - Since the start of last season, no side have lost more Champions League matches than Lokomotiv.

4 - Leverkusen are without a win in their last four away games in the Champions League, failing to score in their past three outings – the German club's longest-such run in the competition.

Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb

11 - Only Genk (12) have conceded more goals in open play in this season's Champions League than Atalanta (11).

36 - Dinamo have had the joint-fewest shots of any team in the Champions League this season, level with Galatasaray. They have the best conversion rate of any team, however, scoring with nine of those 36 shots (25 per cent).

Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munich

11 - Bayern are enjoying their longest ever unbeaten run away from home in the European Cup/Champions League, going 11 matches since last tasting defeat.

7 - Red Star have lost seven of their first 10 Champions League games. Only four teams have lost more in their opening 10 matches - Sturm Graz, Rapid Vienna, Malmo, Maccabi Tel Aviv (eight defeats each).

Juventus v Atletico Madrid

25 - Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 25 goals against Atletico in all competitions - only versus Sevilla (27) has he netted more.

2009 - Atletico, beaten 2-1 at Bayer Leverkusen last time out, have not lost consecutive away games in the group stage of UEFA's showpiece competition since October 2009 when losing to Porto and Chelsea.

Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk

6 - City have won their last six home Champions League matches - the longest current run of any side. The last English team to have a longer run were Chelsea, with seven in a row at Stamford Bridge between March 2008 and February 2009.

0 - Shakhtar have lost on both of their visits to the Etihad Stadium, conceding eight goals without replay. The Ukrainian club have never lost each of their first three away games against a single team in the competition. 

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain

8 - Madrid have won eight and lost none of their 11 Champions League home games against French opposition, winning the last five such matches in a row by an aggregate score of 15-1.

5 - PSG striker Icardi has scored against five of the six teams he has faced in the competition, the exception being Madrid (one game).  No player has ever faced as many as six teams and scored against every opponent, with the record currently held Milinko Pantic, who scored against all four opponents in 1996-97 for Atletico.

Tottenham v Olympiacos

0 - Tottenham have never drawn a Champions League group match on home soil, winning 10 and losing four.

8 - Olympiacos have lost their last six away matches in the competition. Not since between September 2001 and December 2003 have they endured a longer wait for victory on their travels.

Cristiano Ronaldo is chasing another slice of history when Juventus travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Tottenham, meanwhile, will hope Harry Kane can continue his wonderful form in the competition against Red Star Belgrade, while Manchester City take on Atalanta at San Siro.

Elsewhere, Kylian Mbappe will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Club Brugge again after he plundered a hat-trick against them two weeks ago.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's eight matches.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Club Brugge

4 - PSG forward Mbappe scored a hat-trick as a substitute against Brugge on matchday three, becoming only the fourth player to achieve the feat in the Champions League. In three games against Belgian opposition, Mbappe averages a goal or assist every 28 minutes.

2 - Emmanuel Dennis scored both of Brugge's goals in their previous Champions League away game against Real Madrid. No player has ever found the net in consecutive matches on the road for the Belgian side in the competition.

Real Madrid v Galatasaray

50 - Karim Benzema is just two Champions League goals short of his 50th for Madrid, with only Lionel Messi (113 for Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (105 for Madrid) and Raul (66 for Madrid) reaching the milestone for a single side. However, Benzema is without a goal in his past four matches in the competition, despite attempting 16 shots across those games.

5 - Galatasaray have failed to score in their past five away Champions League matches, despite attempting 45 shots in that timeframe. The last team to fail to score in six away games in a row were Schalke in November 2010.

Bayern Munich v Olympiacos

13 - Bayern have scored 13 goals after just three Champions League games this season. The only team with more after three games are Arsenal in 2010-11 (14 goals).

10 - Olympiacos have managed just 10 shots on target across their opening three Champions League matches this term – one fewer than Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has attempted.

Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham

6 - Red Star's Marko Marin made six chances in their 5-0 defeat against Spurs on matchday three. No player has created more in the Champions League this season (13, level with Toni Kroos).

18 - Spurs striker Kane has scored 18 goals in just 22 Champions League appearances, including four in three appearances this season. In the history of the competition, the fewest number of matches needed to reach 20 goals is 26, set by Alessandro Del Piero in April 1998.

Atalanta v Manchester City

11 - Atalanta have conceded more Champions League goals than any other team this season (11). Only two teams have conceded more in their first three Champions League games – Slavia Prague (12) and Helsingborgs (13).

5 - Sergio Aguero has found the net in each of his past five away Champions League group stage matches for City (five goals), a run stretching back to September 2017.

Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk

45 - Dinamo's Mislav Orsic is averaging a goal or assist every 45 minutes in the Champions League this season, scoring four and assisting one in just 227 minutes of action. Should Orsic notch in this game, he would have reached five goals in just four appearances, with only Erling Haaland and Didier Drogba having done so in fewer games (three).

22 - Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has not kept a clean sheet in any of his past 22 Champions League starts. The last goalkeeper to go on a longer such run in the competition was Igor Akinfeev (43) between November 2006 and October 2017.

Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid

3 - Leverkusen are one of two clubs to lose their three Champions League games this season, along with Atalanta. They are the first German side to lose their opening three group stage matches since Stuttgart in 2007-08.

3 - Atletico have won three Champions League games against Bayer Leverkusen; they have only won more against PSV (four).

Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus

9 - Lokomotiv striker Eder has been on the losing side in his each of his past nine Champions League starts, dating back to October 2012 for Braga. The last player to lose on 10 consecutive starts in the competition was Junior Fernandes (11) for Dinamo Zagreb, a run that ended in December 2016.

33 - Ronaldo had eight shots without scoring in Juve's 2-1 win over Lokomotiv on matchday three. Should he score in this match, he would break the record for opponents scored against in the Champions League, with Ronaldo currently level on 33 with Raul and Messi.

Tottenham captain Harry Kane is confident his side can still achieve success in the Champions League, even if they have started poorly in the 2019-20 campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs reached the 2019 Champions League final but sit 11th in the Premier League table with just three wins from their first 11 matches this season.

Spurs are second in Group B of the Champions League ahead of a trip to Red Star Belgrade and Kane knows that if Tottenham win on Wednesday, they could be as much as four points ahead of the third-placed Serbian champions, if, as expected, leaders Bayern Munich beat Olympiacos in Germany.

Kane is fit and raring to go for the match, after missing Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Everton due to a virus.

“We are struggling to get wins over the line. Even on Sunday, we were 1-0 up, trying to hold on, it could have been a big away win and we obviously conceded," Kane was quoted as saying in The Daily Star.

"We can't quite get there, we can't quite get over the line at the moment. It's nothing to do with the fight in the squad. It's just one of those spells. All we can do is try and put it right.

"Obviously, the Champions League campaign last year was so good for us. We got further than a lot of people thought we would.

"We've got to try to find a way of consistently winning games. We're here to win trophies. If we can win one of the trophies we are still in, we will see that as a success.

"Can we still go all the way? I think so. You look at where we started in the group stage last year and where we got to, we proved a lot of people wrong. We're in a better position now."

Tottenham beat Red Star 5-0 in London last month, Kane scoring twice, but the striker knows facing the side in Serbia – where they beat European champions Liverpool last season – will be a much sterner test.

"I've been told by a few people who have played there and been there that it will be a real hostile game, a real hostile atmosphere against us but that's what European nights are about," he added.

Kane has netted four goals in three Champions League appearances this season.

Mauricio Pochettino never had any doubts Son Heung-min would have his red card for a tackle on Andre Gomes rescinded.

Son was sent off late on against Everton on Sunday after lunging in on Gomes, a challenge that saw the Portugal international land awkwardly and suffer a fracture dislocation to his right ankle.

Referee Martin Atkinson initially appeared set to show Son a yellow card but altered his decision to a red having seen Gomes' distress.

After a distraught Son headed down the tunnel, Everton equalised during 12 minutes of stoppage time as the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Spurs boss Pochettino commented after the match that it was a harsh decision to send Son off, and a Tottenham appeal followed.

The Football Association confirmed on Tuesday the forward will now be available for Spurs' next three league outings.

"I was confident [the red card] would be overturned," Pochettino told a news conference ahead of Tottenham's Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade.

"We were a bit confused after the game. It's completely fair that he's now not suspended.

"The only problem is that the VAR can check these things and it was clearly and obviously not a red card."

Pochettino confirmed after Sunday's match that Everton captain Seamus Coleman - who suffered a serious leg injury in 2017 - went to the away dressing room to comfort Son, who was "devastated".

"All the players for Tottenham, we feel so sorry," explained Pochettino, who included Son in his squad for the trip to Belgrade. 

"We're so happy with the news that everything was okay with his injury today [after surgery]. We hope he recovers soon.

"Sonny is okay. After the action, it was a mix of everything. It was an emotional moment for everyone. Now everyone is okay."

Harry Kane missed Sunday's match due to illness, but the stand-in Spurs captain will be fit to feature on Wednesday.

"I feel good, better than the weekend," Kane said. "I came down with some kind of virus, but I’ve been back in training yesterday and I feel much better.

 "The atmosphere is going to be very tough and very hostile but, once we're on the pitch, we have to focus on ourselves and do everything in our power to win the game."

Dele Alli is adamant Tottenham's squad remains "1000 per cent" behind Mauricio Pochettino and says several players would be nowhere without the Argentine.

Spurs thrashed Red Star Belgrade 5-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min scoring twice each and Erik Lamela on target.

It was a timely reminder of the team's quality amid a disappointing start to the season that has seen them win only four times in 13 games across all competitions.

Such an underwhelming return has seen the pressure crank up on Pochettino but England international Alli insists the team is united.

"Yeah, 1,000 per cent [we're behind Pochettino]. A lot of us would not be where we are now if it was not for him. All we can do is thank him," Alli said.

"We have always trusted him 100 per cent and we are going to keep doing that. We are a team.

"When things are not going our way it is easy for people to try and get at the manager but we need to look at ourselves as players. We are doing that and we are going to keep working hard."

Alli acknowledges the team are going through their worst spell under Pochettino but believes there may have been an overreaction to their slump.

"It is strange because since we have been together we probably have not been through this situation," he said.

"But I do not think it is that much of a big deal. We have just got to keep working hard and focus on ourselves, not listen to too much that is going on around the outside.

"It is a new experience for a lot of us here, that is probably why the reaction has been [what it has]. People are making a bigger deal out of it than maybe what it actually is.

"Ever since we have been together with the manager we have got and the players we have got, we need to be winning every game.

"Every club has it where they have a little bit of a dip. When we are so used to winning, it is important we show our character and how strong we really are as a team and a club."

Tottenham go to Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

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