The third qualifying round is the one that Romanian teams were anxiously waiting for, but the Nyon draw doesn’t give them too many reason to rejoice. Since the team winning the domestic league can no longer qualify directly into the Champions League groups, they need to earn their place among Europe’s finest.
Double Bet. Slovan X2/Fenerbahce
Bet365 Odds: 2.73
CFR won the championship in dramatic fashion and there were many who contested them, with some questioning the decisions made by referees in vital games. Besides these controversies and speculations, it is obvious that Cluj is no longer the team that stunned Roma on Olympico and drew 0-0 at home with Chelsea. Their defense is failing game after game, and the two Liga 1 matches played this season highlighted once against the back line’s fragility. On the other hand, the Czech team won their only game away from home in a convincing manner and even though it is unlikely to score four times in Cluj, they shouldn’t be underestimated upfront.
The trade that sunk Vaslui
Last season Vaslui had a good chance to capture the title in Liga 1 for the first time in this club’s history, but they let the opportunity evade them. What followed next was a terrible trading campaign that saw inexperienced players coming and leaving, with no real impact on the club’s prospects. The only truly irreplaceable player in their squad was Wesley, the captain and goal scorer, but the management chose to let him go.
Money-wise this was an inspired move because the club’s budget was boosted, but they were left with no playmaker ahead of this critical match. Fenerbahce is the more experienced team, has been looking forward for this match since 2011 and few teams are favorite when they travel to the blazing inferno in Istanbul. Dirk Kuyt, Hasan Ali and Mehmet Topal were transferred this summer and these three players alone cost more than Vaslui’s entire squad.
Vaslui needs to score a goal at Sukru Saracoglu stadium but the Romanians lack both the experience and the quality to fend off the Turks. Fenerbahce will come out firing from minute one and with the likes of Dirk Kuyt and Mousa Sow upfront, it is only a matter of time until they will score. In Cluj, the local team should focus on keeping a clean sheet and win by a narrow margin, but it’s been months since CFR won a game without conceding goals. Romanian teams will have a terrible night today and a double bet on Fenerbahce to win and Slovan not to lose sounds like a smooth plan.