Celtic vs CFR Cluj
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 13 August 2019
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
“My squad at Celtic is so strong now I don’t have a first choice eleven”. That’s what Neil Lennon told reporters on Saturday, after his team’s 2-5 win at Motherwell, a game in which they conceded first, before then scoring five goals. Celtic’s manager chose to rest some of his “regulars”, and it was his reserves’ very good performance that made him say what he said about not having “a first choice eleven”. Celtic earned a 1-1 draw in Cluj-Napoca last week, equalizing with James Forrest in the 37th minute. Attempts were 14-13 for CFR, the on target ones were 3-4 for Celtic, corners won were 8-7 for the Romanian side, generally numbers show that things were… even on the pitch, so that 1-1 sort of makes sense. After weeks of speculation, Kieran Tierney got transferred to Arsenal, and Lennon said he hopes the money will be used to strengthen the squad even further.
Dan Petrescu, CFR Cluj’s coach, expects Celtic to receive a little “10%” push by the referee in the return leg, which he said is “normal”, as referees tend to get affected by Celtic’s enthusiastic crowd. As for the first leg 1-1, he told reporters he felt his team had done enough to win, despite playing against a team which he praised probably more than what they deserve, comparing them to true… giants of today’s European football (Barcelona and last season’s Champions League semifinalists Ajax). CFR beat Hermannstadt 3-0 at home on Saturday, scoring their last two goals after the 84th minute. They are on 10 points from four matches in Romania’s championship.
Previous five matches:
Motherwell vs Celtic 2-5
CFR Cluj vs Celtic 1-1
Celtic vs St. Johnstone 7-0
Nomme Kalju vs Celtic 0-2
Celtic vs Nomme Kalju 5-0
CFR Cluj vs Hermannstadt 3-0
CFR Cluj vs Celtic 1-1
Chindia Târgovişte vs CFR Cluj 1-4
Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs CFR Cluj 2-2
CFR Cluj vs Dinamo Bucureşti 1-0
Celtic’s next game is on Saturday, against Dunfermline Athletic (Scotland League Cup). Same day, CFR will be visiting Sepsi (Romania championship).
Celtic vs CFR Cluj: Head to head Stats
Last week’s game was the first ever between these two.
Celtic vs CFR Cluj: Prediction
Celtic don’t necessarily need to win in order to qualify, but I still expect them to.
Celtic vs CFR Cluj: Betting Tips
A simple Celtic victory is at 1.62. Combined with “over 2.5 goals” it pays much better, 2.95. CFR have to score, and I expect Celtic to take advantage (score at least twice) of the risks the Romanians will have to take, especially in the last 20-25 minutes.