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CFR Cluj vs Slavia Prague - Cagey Clash in the Champions League
A stalemate is expected as CFR Cluj play host to Slavia Prague
CFR Cluj shocked Celtic in last week's Champions League qualifier (Getty Images)
CFR Cluj vs Slavia Prague Tips, Predictions & Free Bets
After knocking out Celtic last week, CFR Cluj play host to Czech league champions, Slavia Prague in this week's Champions League qualifying games.
CFR Cluj vs Slavia Prague Match Details
|Date||Tuesday 20th August|
|Venue||Dr. Constantin Rădulescu stadium, Cluj Napoca|
|Competition||UEFA Champions League Qualifying Stages|
|Time||20:00 (GMT +1)|
CRF Cluj Form & Team News
Cluj sprung one of the biggest surprises in the Champions League qualifiers so far last week when they ran out 4-3 winners away at Celtic. That victory saw them win the tie 5-4 on aggregate and get one step closer to the promised land of Champions League football this season.
The Romanian side have had a strong start to their life in Romanian Ligue 1. The reigning champions are top of the league after six games, winning four and drawing two. Their last outing saw them draw 1-1 with Sepsi at the weekend.
Cluj are likely to stick with a similar starting 11 to the one who defeated Celtic last week, with Mario Rondon Fernandez expected to lead the line alongside Abdel Omrani, who grabbed one of the goals at Celtic Park.
As they have been in every game so far in their qualifying campaign, Cluj are not favoured to win the match at odds of 2.90 with bet365.
Slavia Prague Form & Team News
Slavia Prague will have Champions League qualification firmly in their sights. The reigning Czech champions have not qualified for the competition since 2007. They had an impressive run in the Europa League last season, losing out to eventual winners Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
Like Cluj, Slavia also find themselves at the top of their domestic league after six games. They have won five and drawn one of their games. Their most recent outing saw them comfortably defeat SK Dynamo Ceske Budejovice 3-0 away from home. Nicolai Stancui, Peter Olayinka and Milan Skoda were the names on the scoresheet.
Jindřich Trpišovský is expected to name a similar side to the game for the one that won at the weekend, with Abdulla Yusuf Helal expected to lead the line, with Olayinka dominating the midfield.
The Czech champions are narrow favourites for the match and are currently priced at 2.60 to pick up the victory. They have not won any of their last four European away games, so these odds could be seen as generous.
CFR Cluj vs Slavia Prague Analysis - Close encounter in Romania
Both Cluj and Prague will be desperate to bring Champions League football back home this season, and they have both had very similar starts to their campaigns.
Cluj will be feeling slightly more fatigued than Slavia, having played in three qualifying rounds already. They will feel confident though, haven’t beaten Astana and Maccabi Tel Aviv on their home turf in Europe already this campaign and the Celtic win will have created a real sense of belief in the side.
CFR Cluj vs Slavia Prague Tips - Draw offers excellent value
CFR Cluj have shown in recent weeks that we should doubt them at our peril. Odds were overwhelmingly against them last week at Celtic and they pulled off a massive surprise, and they were also not fancied to sneak past Tel Aviv in the round before that. They have pulled off brilliant performances in the second legs of their games and will want to just keep themselves in the game with this one.
The first legs of these games are often very cagey affairs, and this one will be no different. Slavia are currently slightly ahead in the odds but odds of 3.00 with bet365 on a draw appear to present excellent value for this one.