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CFR Cluj – Maccabi

CFR Cluj Maccabi Tel Aviv betting preview

CFR Cluj from Romania will host Maccabi Tel Aviv from Israel on Wednesday evening in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

CFR Cluj are two time reigning champions in Romania, and have already started the domestic season. They lost the Romanian SuperCup, claimed 4 points in the first two rounds in the league, and knocked out Astana in the previous Champions League qualifying round. It was a hard fought victory, with CFR Cluj winning 3-1 at home after initially losing the first leg 0-1 away.

Maccabi Tel Aviv is hands down the best team in Israel, head and shoulders above the competition. The visitors won last year`s title with a staggering 31 point advantage (!!) over rivals Maccabi Haifa. Unlike CFR, Maccabi has not started the domestic league and did not play in the Champions League qualifiers either – although they did win the Israeli Supercup, 1-0, over the weekend.

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Team news & lineups:

CFR Cluj will miss top goalscorer Tucudean, while Maccabi Tel Aviv will be without defensive midfielder and captain, Yeini.

CFR Cluj: Arlauskis – Susici, Vinicius, Burcă, Camora – Djokovic, Bordeianu, Culio – Păun, Omrani, Deac

Maccabi Tel Aviv: Gianniotis – Kandil, Amador, Piven, Davidzada – Peretz, Glazer, Rikan, Micha – Atar, Cohen

Maccabi is in all likelihood a slightly better team than CFR Cluj, but the Romanians have the advantage of already playing competitive football – so they should be ahead with preparation.

This has the makings of a tight, rugged match, and goals might be hard to come by, especially considering the DNA of the home side.

CFR Cluj is well known in Romania as a very defensive team with an ugly style of football implemented by coach Dan Petrescu. They also have a very old roster, which translates into a slow rhythm. Last year they had a goal difference of 54-20 in 36 matches, that`s barely an average of 2 goals per game being scored in their matches.

On the other hand, Maccabi is also a team with a sound defense, allowing only 17 goals in 36 league games last season (though they did score 77 times)!

CFR is the kind of team which relishes a 1-0 win, and their approach will definitely not be different in this match. Quite the contrary, given the importance of the game. In fact, the hosts have already set the tone with their statements at the press conference. Coach Petrescu said that his main objective is not to concede a goal, while midfielder Djokovic said that enjoyable football is not important, only the result is.

Look for a lot of defense and tactics in this match, especially by the hosts. It would be a surprise if this were to be a high scoring affair. My tip will be under 2,5 goals to be scored. Prediction: CFR Cluj – Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-0.

Pick: under 2,5 goals
Odds: 1.76 @ Unibet
Stake: 7
Possible profit: 5.32
Event date: 24 July

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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