The last time these two teams met in the Champions League both clubs took the game played in front of the fans and lost by a single goal away from home. Now that CFR and Basel meet again the stakes couldn’t be higher and the outcome might surprise some punters. The Swiss side is credited with the first chance to prevail, but the Romanian outfit is undefeated this season in all competitions.
Match: Basel vs CFR Cluj
Bet: CFR Cluj Double Chance X2
Odds: bet365 2.20
Basel has some memorable results under its belt, including the victory over Manchester United, but only time will tell if they will live up to the hype. The bookmakers are certainly convinced that the Swiss side has the first chance despite the fact that a couple of key players will be missing. Gilles Yapi is the most important absentee, as he picked up an injury in the last domestic game against Lausanne. His team won the game, but unfortunately for him he won’t be able to help in the double legged game.
A stiff defense and sharp counters
CFR needs to address its defensive issues quickly because the Champions League groups are unforgiving and they don’t have an offensive capable of scoring enough goals to offset early deficits. The transfers made by the management during the season break highlight the fact that the emphasis is finally placed on strengthening the defensive. There are enough South Americans and Portuguese players to insure the fact that CFR will stick to its creative football, but the Romanians need to summon a solid backline.
Basel needs to secure victory in the first leg because their record away from home is not even remotely as good as their performance in Switzerland. Alexander Frei is not yet fully recovered but it looks like he will start on the bench so that coach Heiko Vogel could use him if necessary. Basel has defensive concerns of its own and most of the goals conceded in previous Champions League campaigns were scored on the counterattack. This is what CFR Cluj counts on and despite surrendering the center of the field, the visitors are not to be underestimated on the flanks.
What we have here is pretty much a coin flip because although Basel is favorite to win, Bet365 is still underpricing CFR. As they stand right now, odds of 2.20 for a double chance bet are reasonably high and with the majority of punters favoring Basel, we have solid reasons to expect them to rise further.