Romanian Cup R16, Steaua Bucharest and ACS Poli Timisoara will fight for a place in the competition quarterfinals today in a single-leg match on Steaua Stadium.
Boy did the bookies and punters managed to mess up the odds on Steaua this season. The romanian champions have been a gold-mine so far, being hugely overestimated in the Champions League qualifiers and group stages, but on the other hand being surprisingly underestimated in the league and romanian Cup.
Steaua is by far the best team in Romania, they won the title by miles last season, they are on first place again this year despite having 2 games in hand. They have 9 wins and 1 draw in 10 games, goal difference 26-6. The draw was away at Gaz Metan where Steaua played with the 2nd team (having Champions League a couple of days later). The league is really poor and Steaua cruises without any problems, especially at home where they weren`t even challenged so far. The hosts won all their home games in the romanian league or cup this season, including the last five with a combined goal difference of 19-0!
Steaua will meet ACS Timisoara today, a team which promoted this year and will fight for relegation this season. They could avoid the drop, since there are 4-5 teams weaker than them, but it will be a fight. Timisoara are 10th at the moment thanks to a surprisingly good start, but right now they are playing poorly and they even had to change the manager. Lately Timisoara has proved to be hesitant at the back, conceding 4 goals in the last 2 league games. No less than 8 of Timisoara`s 15 points in the league came against the worst 4 teams in the league on paper.
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Team news & lineups
The important thing here is that Steaua will play with the first team. Coach Reghencampf insisted that the cup is high on his list of priorities and aside for a few changes here and there, he will pretty much send the best possible 11 on the pitch. Steaua`s only absentees are Pintilii and fringe strikers Nikolic and Costea. ACS Timisoara can`t count on Poparadu and Gorobsov.
Steaua: Nita – Georgievski, Szukala, Gardos, Prepelita – Bourceanu, Filip – Adi Popa, Stanciu, Tanase – Kapetanos
Timisoara: Nuno Claro – Nohai, Scutaru, Seroni, Marovic – Ov. Petre, Trandu – Barbut, Boldea, Nanu – Szekely
These two teams met a few weeks ago in the league and Steaua won 3-0 at home while playing a very relaxed game with a few substitutes on the pitch. A similar result is expected today. The gap in quality is immense, Steaua is motivated and they do not have Champions League football until next week. With the first place in the league being more than safe, this game is their current priority. As I said, they are completely dominant at home, winning all internal games with 3-0 or more this season (except for the first league round, when they won 2-1). Steaua was knocked out early in the cup last year (playing with the reserves), so having that experience they will be careful not to make the same mistake again.
The odds are set wrong without a doubt (again), as Steaua Bucharest is a level above any other romanian team at the moment and Timisoara is a poor side. Something around 1.15 for the simple win would have been more realistic. Even though cup games are different in theory, the hosts are 100% focused for this one so I don`t see why they shouldn`t cover a 1 goal handicap. As I said, they covered the TWO goal handicap in their last 5 outings in Romania. My pick is Steaua – ACS Poli Timisoara 3-0 and I`m going with high stakes on a 1 goal spread on the romanian champions. I was planning 8 units, but the odds are pure value so I will go with maximum stakes.
Pick: Steaua Bucharest (-1,5)
Odds: 2.06 @ Pinnacle
Possible profit: 10.60
Event date: 30 October
- Rostick is 6 for 7 in tips involving Steaua this season