Bordeaux were somewhat fortunate to escape defeat in the first leg given they had been outplayed by their less illustrious opponents, but les Girondins remain the favourites to go through.
Crvena Zvezda, on the other hand, will have to repeat the brilliant performance from the first match if they are to make it to the next round.
Having ended the last season with six straight victories and having kept the entire squad together this summer, it was hardly a surprise that Bordeaux enjoyed a bright start to the season.
Les Girondins beat Evian and Rennes at the start of their Ligue 1 campaign, before bringing one point from Parc des Princes, but surprisingly, the Europa League clash with Crvena Zvezda proved to be their most difficult game so far.
Francis Gillot’s side were on the back foot for most of the game in Belgrade, but the good defensive showing helped them earn a goalless draw in a very hostile atmosphere.
Having played three very difficult matches last week, the players are not exactly at premium fitness levels and it is for that reason that odds of 1.36 (9/25) offered by Betfair on home win do not look too tempting. Online bookmakers seem to have overestimated Bordeaux’s chances in this match.
Boss Francis Gillot faces a genuine selection headache now that starting centre-back Michael Ciani has joined Lazio, especially seeing that Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Matthieu Chalme, David Bellion, Abdou Traore and Abdoulaye Keira are all unavailable.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Carrasso – Mariano, Marange, Planus, Tremoulinas – Sane, Sertic – Maurice-Belay, Obraniak, Jussie – Gouffran.
The start of the new season has been pretty disappointing for Crvena Zvezda, even though the results would not suggest that.
The Serbian giants have been showing a lot of weaknesses, especially at the back, although the situation improved significantly with the arrival of experienced centre-back Milan Jovanovic.
The Montenegro international was instrumental in two goalless draws against Omonia and helped the side qualify for Europa League play-offs after penalties.
Coach Robert Prosinecki decided to leave the side following the 2-2 league draw against FK Rad, and having done so just before the all-important clash with Bordeaux, not too many fans believed Crvena Zvezda would avoid defeat to les Girondins despite playing at home.
However, boosted by the arrival of talented coach Aleksandar Jankovic as well as the amazing support from the stands, the team played their best game this season and completely outplayed one of France’s top teams.
The Serbian team may not be expected to repeat another such showing in France, but odds of 4.00 (3/1) offered at William Hill on Zvezda to qualify could be worth a shot.
Important midfielder Luka Milivojevic is suspended after picking up three yellow cards, but Filip Kasalica returns to the side after suspension.
The aforementioned Milan Jovanovic is struggling with injury, but after he was rested at the weekend, the experienced stopper is expected to start in Bordeaux.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Bajkovic – Mikic, Maksimovic, Jovanovic, Mladenovic – Dimitrijevic, Mijailovic – Vesovic, Milunovic, Lazovic – Kasalica.