Celtic vs Cluj betting tips: Champions League qualifying match preview & predictions

Celtic vs Cluj prediction: Celtic 2-0 Cluj

After the first leg at Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu, Celtic have a slight advantage.

The meeting six days ago was cagey but the home side took a shock lead after half an hour through Mario Rondón.

However, they were not celebrating for long.

Just seven minutes later, James Forrest’s low shot flew in off the post.

A vital away goal for Celtic.

Both had chances in the second half but 1-1 it finished in Transylvania.

It was a fairly even first leg but, back at Park Head, Celtic should have enough to get through.

Will Neil Lennon’s side set up a Champions League play-off meeting with Slavia Prague?


First leg highlights: Cluj 1-1 Celtic

Celtic vs Cluj: Who will win?

Celtic will probably have to win this to get through and they’re odds on a 4/6 to do just that.

Cluj meanwhile are 4/1 to leave Glasgow victorious.

A repeat of last week’s draw is 5/2.

Under 2.5 goals is 8/13.

Both teams to score no is 4/6.

Celtic to win and both teams to score no is 6/4.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 02: Olivier Ntcham of Celtic celebrates after he scores during the Scottish Premier League between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park Stadium on September 2, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Odsonne Édouard will lead the line for Celtic. He is 10/3 to score first and 13/10 to net anytime.

Ryan Christie though is the top scorer with six. He is 5/1 to break the deadlock and 2/1 to score once again.

Mario Rondón scored his second European goal of the campaign in the first leg. He is 8/1 to score first and 16/5 to net anytime.

Both Édouard and Christie to score is 6/1.

Celtic vs Cluj: Match preview

Can Celtic keep their bright early season form going?

In this competition so far, they’ve outclassed FK Sarajevo and demolished Nõmme Kalju.

This was always going to be a tougher test but after last week’s 1-1 draw, Neil Lennon will be confident that his side can see this tie through.

In fact, Celtic are now unbeaten in five consecutive games at the start of a European campaign for just the third time.

The other two were in 1965/66, the year before they won the European Cup, and 2012/13 during Lennon’s previous reign.

They’ll be looking to extend that run to six.

In the Premiership, despite the fact they’ve only played two games, they look imperious already.

The Hoops began with a 7-0 thrashing of St Johnstone on Flag Day.

Then, on Saturday, they travelled over to Fir Park to face Motherwell.

To everyone’s surprise, the home side took the lead after just 12 minutes.

Their joy was short lived.

Kristoffer Ajer equalised just 122 seconds later before a smashing Leigh Griffiths free-kick had the Champions ahead at the break.

In the second half, James Forrest, Odsonne Édouard and Ryan Christie all got on the scoresheet to seal an emphatic win

Motherwell did pull one back in stoppage time but, in the context of that game, it mattered not.

However, Celtic can not afford any lapses in concentration in a game as vital as this.

There’s no doubt that this will be a test but one Celtic should come through.

Scott Brown

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 26: Scott Brown of Celtic controls the ball during the Scottish Premier League match between Dundee and Celtic at Dens Park on December 26, 2017 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Can Cluj cause a shock?

Can Cluj meanwhile rise to the occasion at a packed out Park Head?

The Railwaymen proved in the first leg that they can compete with Celtic but, doing so away from home, will be a completely different ball game.

Nevertheless, they’ve already caused two upsets by beating Astana and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Europe this season so can they do it again?

Just like their hosts, Cluj have been in superb form domestically.

On Saturday, they eased past FC Hermannstadt 3-0.

That means they remain unbeaten in Liga I this season

So far they have beaten Chindia Târgoviște, Dinamo București and Academica Clinceni and drawn with Politehnica Iași back on the opening day.

Last year they won their fifth Romanian League title since 2008 and that domestic success has sometimes translated onto a continental stage.

They have appeared in four UEFA group stages in that time frame with three of those coming in the Champions League.

However, the last of those came in 2012 and they have failed in qualifying in 2014 and 2018, losing to Dinamo Minsk and Dudelange respectively.

Even if they are beaten here, the European adventure is not over.

The winners of this tie play Slavia Prague in the Champions League play-off round.

Meanwhile, the losers will meet either AIK or FC Sheriff in the Europa League play-off round.

Can Cluj cause a huge upset or will Celtic prove to be just too good?

Celtic team news vs Cluj

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 31: The Celtic team pictured before the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and Bayern München at Celtic Park on October 31, 2017 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Neil Lennon made four changes for the trip to Fir Park on Saturday but his big guns will be back and he’ll hope they’ll be firing.

Scott Bain will continue in goal.

He’ll be hoping to continue his great record for Celtic.

In 43 appearances, he’s kept 27 clean sheets conceding just 19 goals.

In front of him, there’s no Kieran Tierney anymore after he joined Arsenal last Thursday.

Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo is his replacement at left-back but many Celtic fans are yet to be convinced by him.

At centre-back, this could finally be the time that Christopher Jullien starts a vital European game.

His only two appearance so far have come in the dead-rubber in Estonia and on Saturday.

After a brilliant performance at Motherwell, Kristoffer Ajer is expected to be alongside him with Hatem Abd Elhamed at right-back.

In midfield, Ryan Christie was rested at the weekend but will come in.

That’ll see Olivier Ntcham drop back out of the side and Callum McGregor revert to a deeper role.

Out-wide, Mikey Johnston is not expected to be fit so Lewis Morgan will continue to deputise.

Still no place for Scott Sinclair.

The goalscorer in Cluj, James Forrest, will continue to be a threat for sure.

Up front, despite three goals this season, Leigh Griffiths will be back on the bench.

Another man who scored last weekend, Odsonne Édouard, will lead the line.

Will Celtic be planning for a huge play-off round tie with Slavia Prague after this one?

Cluj team news vs Celtic

NYON, SWITZERLAND – JULY 18: The UEFA logo is seen on the UEFA Champions League trophy as it is prepared for the UEFA 2014/15 Champions League third qualifying rounds draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on July 18, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)

After the first leg on Wednesday, Dan Petrescu said that he would heavily rotate at the weekend ahead of this return leg.

The former Chelsea man stuck to his word making 11 changes for Saturday’s 3-0 win.

However, he is expected to name the same side that not only started the first leg but played the mid-week before in Tel Aviv.

The average age of this side is over 31, hence why they needed the rest at the weekend.

They rotated so much that even Lithuanian international goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis has been rested ahead of this one.

His former clubs include Rubin Kazan, Espanyol and Watford although he never played for the Premier League side.

Their Portuguese captain Camora and Mateo Sušić will look to be dangerous from full-back.

Luís Aurélio and Mihai Cătălin Bordeianu will anchor the midfield.

They’re still without creative Argentine midfielder Emmanuel Culio who will be a big loss.

His absence means Damjan Đjoković will play further forward.

Billel Omrani has already scored four times in Europe this season but would love to add another in this one.

As would Mario Rondón.

A scorer in the first leg, can the Venezuelan cause Celtic problems once more?

Another forward, George Țucudean, came off the bench in the first leg and looked a threat so could be a useful player if needed.

Can this Cluj side keep their Champions League dream alive?

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj

Predicted Celtic line-up vs CFR Cluj.

Predicted Cluj line-up vs Celtic

Predicted Cluj line-up vs Celtic

Predicted CFR Cluj line-up vs Celtic.

Highlights of Sarajevo 1-3 Celtic

https://youtu.be/a6naKW1u538

Highlights of Celtic 2-1 Sarajevo

Highlights of Celtic 5-0 Nõmme Kalju

Highlights of Motherwell 2-5 Celtic

The latest tweets from Celtic pre Cluj

Scottish Premiership table

#TeamMPWDLFADP
1Celtic2200122106
2Rangers22008266
3Ross County21103034
4Aberdeen21013303
5St Mirren21011103
6Hamilton Academical210123-13
7Hibernian210126-43
8Livingston20202202
9Heart of Midlothian201123-11
10Motherwell201125-31
11St Johnstone201129-71
12Kilmarnock200214-30
Last updated: 3 mins ago

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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