Kick-off: 2000, 3/10/2019
Stadium: Celtic Park
TV: BT Sport
Celtic will be out for revenge when they face Cluj for the third time this season but this time in a different competition.
Neil Lennon’s men were knocked out of the Champions League by the Romanian champions, who then also dropped down to the Europa League after failing to qualify for the group stage of the elite competition.
August’s meeting at Parkhead ended 4-3 to the visitors and both teams to score again at 13/10 looks good value for our opening Celtic vs CFR Cluj prediction.
A Look At Celtic’s Betting Odds
Celtic only had themselves to blame for the defeat in the second leg which ended their hopes of reaching the lucrative group stage of the Champions League.
Having drawn 1-1 in Romania, the Hoops made a storming start to the second half in Glasgow to go 2-1 ahead through goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard but Scott Brown’s handball allowed Billel Omrani to net from the spot.
Ryan Christie soon put Celtic back in front but Omrani quickly levelled again on the rebound in the 80th minute to put the Romanians ahead on away goals.
George Tucudean then netted with the last kick of the game to seal a 5-4 aggregate win in the third qualifying round.
As soon as the Europa League draw was made, Lennon spoke of the “chance to maybe exact some sort of retribution to Cluj” and Celtic are firm favourites to do so.
We expect them to come out on top this time but Cluj can again cause them problems so a home win and both teams to score is added to our Celtic vs CFR Cluj betting tips at 31/10.
A Look At CFR Cluj’s Betting Odds
Cluj do not have to go for goals from the start as they did in the Champions League second leg, when they knew an away goal was needed.
That could mean a different game plan but they will be encouraged by their performance here in August when Cluj pressed Celtic aggressively and pinned their hosts back for much of the opening stages.
Head coach Dan Petrescu did not rate his team’s chances of keeping a clean sheet here last time though and presumably will want his team to attack once more.
Speaking after the 4-3 win, he said: “I never expected that. I told my players they would have to play the game of their lives and told them it would be a miracle if Celtic didn’t score, because they have so much quality they can win against any team in Europe.”
Another seven-goal thriller might be asking too much but both teams to score in the first half appeals at 19/4 in the Celtic vs CFR Cluj odds.
Last Europa League result:
Rennes 1-1 CELTIC – Ryan Christie (pen)
CFR CLUJ 2-1 Lazio – Ciprian Deac (pen), Billel Omrani
Previous head-to-head: Celtic 3-4 CFR Cluj, CFR Cluj 1-1 Celtic
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