Cluj vs Celtic betting tips: UEFA Europa League match preview and predictions

Cluj vs Celtic prediction: Cluj 1-1 Celtic

What a season it has been for Celtic so far.

On Sunday, they claimed the first silverware of the campaign.

Also, they’re already through in this competition so will make changes.

Cluj though are looking to join their visitors in the knockout stages so have everything to play for.

Who will come out on top at Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu?

Highlights of Celtic 2-0 Cluj

Highlights of Rangers 0-1 Celtic

Highlights of Celtic 3-1 Stade Rennais

Cluj vs Celtic: Who will win?

Hosts Cluj are favourites to win this game at 23/20.

Celtic meanwhile are 5/2 to leave Transylvania with a victory.

A draw is 21/10.

Under 2.5 goals is 4/7.

Both teams to score though is 10/11.

Draw and both teams to score is 10/3.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 10: Celtic’s Odsonne Édouard arrives during the Ladbrokes Premiership Match between Celtic and Motherwell at Celtic Park on November 10, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Billel Omrani has been Cluj’s main man for goals in Europe this season. He is 5/1 to break the deadlock and 21/10 to add to his tally.

Mario Rondón scored the last time these two clubs met in Romania. The Venezuelan is 6/1 to score first and 11/4 to net anytime.

Leigh Griffiths could lead the line for the away side. He is 6/1 to open the scoring and 11/4 to score in 90 minutes.

Tom Rogic could also be a threat. The Wizard of Oz is 12/1 to score first and 5/1 to score anytime.

Both Rondón and Omrani to score is 12/1.

Both George Țucudean and Omrani to score is 16/1.

Both Griffiths and Rogic to score is 18/1.

Both Mikey Johnston and Vakoun Issouf Bayo to score is 125/1.

Cluj vs Celtic: Match preview

Europa League live streaming

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – MARCH 15: The logo of the UEFA Europa League is seen prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund at the Red Bull Arena on March 15, 2018 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

Cluj were supposed to be the whipping boys of this group but they have been anything but.

Although, if there’s one team in world football that will not take them lightly it is Celtic.

Back in August, Cluj knocked Celtic out of Champions League qualifying; a 1-1 draw in Romania was followed by a crazy 4-3 win in Glasgow.

However, in the play-off round they lost 1-0 home and away to Slavia Prague to drop into this competition.

Although, they’ve certainly made the most of their time in this competition.

On matchday one, they caused a big shock, coming from a goal down to beat Lazio 2-1 at home.

Ciprian Deac equalising with a penalty before Billel Omrani won it late on.

Then, a double header of 1-0 wins over Stade Rennais has set them up nicely.

First, in France, Deac’s ninth minute free-kick saw them win at Roazhon Park.

Then, a fortnight later, Mario Rondón’s late header saw them beat Rennes again.

Last time out, Dan Petrescu’s side lost 1-0 in Rome to Lazio so are not through just yet.

Cluj sit three points above the Italian side with a worse head to head.

So, all the Romanian champions need is a point here to qualify for a European knockout stage for the very first time.

They do come into this one off the back of a defeat though.

On Saturday, they lost 2-1 to Botoșani away from home; their first loss in six Liga 1 games.

That means they have dropped down to second, two points below Astra Giurgiu.

But first, can this side make history in the Europa League?

Will Celtic leave Romania with a win?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 26: A fan walks past a Celtic logo prior to the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and AFC Ajax at Celtic Park on November 26, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

As for Celtic, this is a very rare European game for them with no pressure on it at all.

On matchday five, goals from Lewis Morgan, Ryan Christie and Mikey Johnston saw them easily beat Stade Rennais 3-0 at home.

That is now four European wins on the bounce following two amazing 2-1 wins over Lazio and a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture.

Thus Celtic have 13 points, only Sevilla have more, and are through as group winners.

The pressure is off so could that work in their favour?

In stark contrast, the pressure was well and truly on last Sunday.

The Hoops were targeting a fourth consecutive Scottish League Cup triumph but faced Rangers for the first time in a cup final since 2011.

In the first half, it was the side in blue who dominated but they could not find the breakthrough.

Then, on the hour mark, Ryan Christie’s pin-point free-kick found Christopher Jullien who volleyed home the opener with Celtic’s first shot on target of the game.

However, the drama was just getting started.

Less than three minutes later, Rangers had a penalty and 18 year old right-back Jeremie Frimpong was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

However, Fraser Forster made a magnificent save, just one of many.

The Celts, or namely Forster, held on as Celtic won a tenth consecutive domestic trophy.

How big a boost will that give them, beating their title rivals despite having been second best throughout.

In truth, the focus is on Hibernian on Sunday but Neil Lennon will want to see what his fringe players can do at Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu.

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)

As Cluj need to get a result in this game, Dan Petrescu will name his strongest available XI.

This will include 32 year old Lithuanian goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis.

In defence Kévin Boli, who’s on loan from Guìzhōu Héngfēng in China, and Paulo Vinícius are the first-choice centre-backs.

They will keep their places ahead of Andrei Burcă and Alex Pașcanu.

Captain Camora will start at left-back with Mateo Sušić getting the nod over Andrei Peteleu on the other side.

In midfield, Ovidiu Hoban and Damjan Đjoković will start in the deeper position, chosen over Emmanuel Culio.

Further forward, they have an array of attacking talent.

Valentin Costache and Ciprian Deac are likely to flank top-scorer Billel Omrani.

Cătălin Itu and Lacina Traoré would thereby miss out.

Mario Rondón will lead the line; he scored when these two met in Romania back in August.

George Țucudean is a doubt but could be on the bench.

Will this side get the point they need?

Celtic team news vs Cluj

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)

As for Celtic, with the job already done and games coming thick and fast this month, Neil Lennon will make wholesale changes.

In goal, Fraser Forster was immense on Sunday and will be rested for this game.

Craig Gordon, who was on the bench at Hampden, will make a very rare appearance in his place.

In defence, Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer and Jonny Hayes will be rested.

Also, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo are injury doubts so will not be risked.

Jeremie Frimpong can’t play as he was not named in Celtic’s Europa League squad.

So, Greg Taylor and Moritz Bauer will start as the full-backs.

Jozo Šimunović and utility man Nir Bitton will be the centre-back pairing.

In midfield, Scott Brown is suspended but he would not play anyway.

Likewise, Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi will all be left at home.

Olivier Ntcham, who scored the stoppage time winner in Rome, will start.

Lewis Morgan and Tom Rogic will make up the midfield trio.

Out-wide Marian Shved, who scored away to Nõmme Kalju in July, will make his first appearances since then.

2016/17 player of the year Scott Sinclair will be on the other wing.

Up-front, Odsonne Édouard hobbled around Hampden on Sunday so will be left at home.

Thus, Leigh Griffiths will start for the first time since August; Vakoun Issouf Bayo could be on the bench.

16 year old Karamoko Dembélé will be on the bench looking for his first appearance since the final day of last season.

Will this heavily changed side get a result in Romania?

Predicted Cluj line-up vs Celtic

Predicted Cluj line-up vs Celtic

Predicted Cluj line-up vs Celtic.

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj.

Highlights of Stade Rennais 1-1 Celtic

Highlights of Celtic 2-1 Lazio

Highlights of Lazio 1-2 Celtic

Highlights of Hibernian 2-5 Celtic

Highlights of Celtic 2-1 Hamilton Academical

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The latest tweets from Cluj pre Celtic

The latest tweets from Celtic pre Cluj

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

Scottish Premiership table:

#TeamMPWDLFADP
1Celtic Glasgow22191261144758
2Rangers FC21172255134253
3Motherwell FC2313283427741
4Aberdeen FC2310763027337
5Livingston FC238783531431
6Hibernian FC237883137-629
7Kilmarnock FC2365121929-1023
8St Johnstone FC215881836-1823
9Ross County FC2257102245-2322
10St Mirren FC2355131730-1320
11Hamilton Academical FC2346132340-1718
12Heart of Midlothian2338122036-1617
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