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

Cluj vs Celtic prediction: Cluj 0-2 Celtic

Celtic are halfway there.

The Scottish Champions have cruised through qualifying rounds one and two but it’s only going to get tougher from here.

This will certainly be a difficult assignment but will they leave Transylvania with a lead?

Highlights of Celtic 5-0 Nõmme Kalju

Highlights of Nõmme Kalju 0-2 Celtic

Cluj vs Celtic: Who will win?

CFR Cluj have won both of their home European games this season and are 7/4 to make it three wins out of three.

Celtic meanwhile have won both of their away matches in Europe so far and are 13/8 to do so again.

Something has to give.

A draw is 2/1.

Under 2.5 goals is 8/15.

Both teams to score no is 8/11.

Celtic to win and both teams to score no is 3/1.

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)

New signing Mario Rondón is set to lead the line for Cluj. The Venezuelan is 11/2 to score first and 5/2 to net anytime.

Odsonne Édouard has two goals so far this season. French Eddy is 5/1 to break the deadlock and 9/4 to net anytime.

Ryan Christie meanwhile has been on fire having netted six goals in five appearances this season. He is 15/2 to score first and 10/3 to score again.

Both Édouard and Christie to score is 13/1.

Both Édouard and Mikey Johnstone to score is 10/1.

Both James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths to score is 18/1.

Cluj vs Celtic: Match preview

Can Cluj cause Celtic problems?

Last season the Railwaymen won their fifth Romanian league title, all of which have come since 2008.

In Europe, they’ve reached four UEFA group stages including three of the Champions League variety.

However, the most recent of those was in 2012 and they have fallen in qualifying on two occasions since.

This season, they’ve narrowly got through the two qualifying rounds.

In the first qualifying round, they were beaten in the first leg in Kazakhstan 1-0 by Astana.

However, a hat-trick from Billel Omrani saw them turn it around with a 3-1 home win.

In the second qualifying round, Omrani got on the scoresheet once more as they won 1-0 at home against Maccabi Tel Aviv

A 2-2 draw in Israel followed as they went through 3-2 on aggregate once more.

This is the first time they’ve won back-to-back European ties for seven years.

As well as their European commitments, they’re also well underway in the defence of their Liga I crown.

On Saturday, Dan Petrescu’s side came from a goal down to beat Chindia Târgoviște 4-1 away from home.

That leaves them top on ten points after four matches.

Cluj have upset the odds already in this European campaign so can they cause an even bigger upset in this tie?

Will Celtic win again?

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

As for Celtic, they’ve been simply scintillating so far.

On Saturday, it was Flag Day as Celtic kicked off their quest for a ninth Scottish Premiership title in a row.

The Hoops could hardly have started any better, running out 7-0 winners, albeit against struggling St Johnstone.

There’s a lot of optimism in the East End of Glasgow, mainly as a result of their European campaign.

In the first qualifying round, a 3-1 win in Bosnia was followed by a 2-1 home victory against FK Sarajevo.

In the next round, it was a five star performance at home as they demolished Nõmme Kalju 5-0 at Park Head.

In last mid-week’s return game in Tallinn, an own goal followed by a screamer from Marian Shved saw them win 2-0.

A beautiful goal on his Celtic debut from the Ukrainian international winger.

Cluj though will provide the toughest test they’ve faced so far but, in this form, Celtic will be confident of leaving Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu with a win.

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)

Cluj manager Dan Petrescu may be familiar having played for Sheffield Wednesday, Chelsea, Bradford and Southampton in the 1990s.

This is his 15th managerial job having managed in China, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and his native Romania.

He made nine changes to his starting XI for the weekend league win in preparation for this one.

However, he’s expected to revert to the side that started last mid-week in Israel.

Former Watford man Giedrius Arlauskis will once again be in goal.

The whole defence will change, led by captain Camora.

Right-back Mateo Sušić rejoined the club in the summer after a short spell in Moldova with FC Sheriff.

The midfield will be anchored by Damjan Djoković and Mihai Bordeianu.

Winger Ciprian Deac is the only outfielder who started at the weekend who also started in Tel Aviv.

Billel Omrani will be on the other wing; he’s scored five goals in six appearances so far this season.

Veteran Mario Rondón will lead the line.

Can this side cause an upset against Celtic?

Celtic team news vs Cluj

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – APRIL 14: Kieran Tierney of Celtic applauds the fans at the final whistle during the Scottish Cup Semi-Final between Aberdeen and Celtic at Hampden Park on April 14, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Niel Lennon has a decision to make tactically for this one.

For the first three Champions League qualifiers, he went with a back three but reverted to a back four for the last two matches.

With a second leg at Park Head to come, they’re likely to try and keep it tight and play the more conservative back four.

Craig Gordon got a rare start in goal in Estonia but Scott Bain will return.

The latter has kept 27 clean sheets in 42 Celtic appearances, conceding just 18 goals in those matches.

In defence, centre-backs Christopher Jullien and Jozo Šimunović were both suspended at the weekend but both will come back in for this one.

Kristoffer Ajer and Nir Bitton will drop out if it is indeed a back four.

Both of the full-backs, like Jullien, are new recruits.

Right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed made his debut at the weekend; Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo has started all five matches so far on the other side.

Kieran Tierney is yet to feature this season and his future could still lie elsewhere.

In midfield, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor will continue at the base of the midfield.

Further forward, Ryan Christie has been on fire this season; his hat-trick on Saturday means he’s scored six goals in five appearances already.

Out-wide, as always, James Forrest will be on the right and Mikey Johnston is likely to keep his place on the left.

Up front, despite two goals in his last three appearances, Leigh Griffiths may well be on the bench.

Odsonne Édouard is expected to get the nod.

Griffiths will be on a very strong subs’ bench which could also include Olivier Ntcham, Jonny Hayes, Scott Sinclair and Marian Shved.

Will this side leave Romania with the advantage?

Predicted Cluj line-up vs Celtic

Predicted CFR Cluj line-up vs Celtic.

Predicted CFR Cluj line-up vs Celtic.

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj

Predicted Celtic line-up vs Cluj

Predicted Celtic line-up vs CFR Cluj.

Highlights of Sarajevo 1-3 Celtic

Highlights of Celtic 2-1 Sarajevo

Highlights of Celtic 7-0 St Johnstone

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

3Ross County21103034
5St Mirren21011103
6Hamilton Academical210123-13
9Heart of Midlothian201123-11
11St Johnstone201129-71
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