Five days ago, Romania prevailed by three goals to none over their neighbors and archrivals, with the victory propelling them to the second place in Group D. Tonight they need to capitalize on this advantage and consolidate their position by winning at home against Turkey, who is just three points behind them.
Odds: William Hill 2.20
Before the game against Hungary, Romanian media and sports commentators emphasized the rivalry and less than friendly relations between the two countries. The match was so hyped up that the players gave everything on the field and eventually prevailed by three goals to none. The same strategy is used today ahead of the game with Turkey, with some people playing on the emotional chord and invoking the historical antagonism between Romanians and Turks.
Granted this match has a special signification for both countries, it is not even in the same zip code as Friday’s game. What motivates the two team is the chance of making the playoffs, after a disappointing start of the qualifying campaign. Romania has the upper hand after winning in Istanbul and the head-to-head record is also in their favor, with the hosts winning all four games so far. Even more impressive is the fact that Romania scored a total of 11 goals at home without conceding one. Piturca has no reason to change his somewhat awkward 4-2-3-1 starting formation that delivered the 3-0 victory over Hungary.
Romania needs a single point to make sure it stays on the second place as they are scheduled to face Estonia and Andorra in the last two rounds. Nevertheless, the hosts will aim for victory on the packed National Arena and the odds for such an outcome stand that 2.20 with William Hill.