Check out our match analysis and see the Preview: Lincoln Red Imps vs CFR Cluj – prediction, team news, lineups
Romanian Champions CFR Cluj travel to meet the winners of the Gibraltar National League Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday, as the couple seek to take another step toward a place in the Champions League.
This second qualifying round, a one-way affair, pits a home team that has never progressed beyond this stage before with visitors looking to reach the group stage for the first time since 2013.
Having made a small piece of history in the annals of the Champions League by knocking out the hapless Borac Banja Luka in the first qualifying round, CFR Cluj now stands as a strong favorite to move on, given a seemingly friendly draw.
The first team to benefit from the abolition of the much-debated away goal rule in UEFA competition, Cluj advanced thanks to a goal in extra time in their 2-1 loss to the Bosnian champions. Former Anderlecht forward Alexandru chipciuThe blow sealed a 4-3 victory on aggregate after an additional 30 minutes, which only occurred due to the recent change.
Under the decades-old system eliminated by the European soccer governing body last month, Borac would have previously passed with the aggregate score tied at 3-3, due to his goal in the first leg in Romania.
Obviously, the Feroviarii may owe an unexpected loss to the lowly Iasi in the Cupa Romaniei late last year for a chance to return to the biggest tournament on the continent.
That loss turned out to be the final game for the embattled coach. Dan Petrescu, who departed after a series of disappointing results that left his team far adrift from the league leader FCSB and saw his team dismantled by a 7-0 aggregate score in two European group stage matches League with Roma.
After parting ways with Petrescu, the Transylvanian club appointed Edward Iordanescu; son of former national coach Anghel Iordanescu, who memorably led Romania to the knockout stages of the 1994 World Cup. Iordanescu junior then managed to guide Cluj through the playoffs to be crowned champion for the second consecutive season, before he himself departed in the summer.
Now, well traveled coach Marius sumudica is in charge, and has faced mixed fortunes so far: losing the Supercupa Romaniei on penalties before passing through Europe and defeating FC U Craiova 1948 in the opening match of the 2021-22 league campaign.
A dramatic 3-2 win, after Sumudica’s team squandered an early two-goal lead only to get a late winner Claudiu Petrila, could lay the groundwork for a successful return to Champions League action this week.
Meanwhile, Cluj’s opponents ended their previous campaign in May, sealing a national double with a victory over Glacis United in the Rock Cup final.
Lincoln Red Imps returned to competitive football with a disappointing 2-2 draw against first-round rivals Fola Esch of Luxembourg earlier this month, perhaps understandably losing steam in the final half hour to cast a 2-0 lead at Stade Emile. Mayrisch.
However, they were amended with a 5-0 victory at home to seal a 7-2 aggregate success, after an early double from the Gibraltar international. Tjay de barr calmed nerves at camp.
Flaggers of Gibraltarian soccer, the country’s record champions, with 24 league titles, including fourteen in a row between 2003 and 2016, were the first team to represent the island nation in the Champions League qualification process. However, they have never reached the third round, so they will have to break new ground if they want to make an impossible dream come true this year.
Mick mcelweeThe men are still known for a surprise win against then Scottish champion Celtic in 2016, with a 1-0 home win probably the best result in club history, so they are hoping to pull off a similar upset against Cluj on Tuesday.
Cluj’s new coach Marius Sumudica has so far found his defense exposed too often, but as a former forward, he has stated that his goal is not simply to win 1-0, but “by at least one more goal than any opponent” .
However, his necessarily pragmatic Cluj team, having traveled from club to club, can be expected to change that philosophy as it progresses in Europe. On Tuesday, however, they should continue with a bold 4-3-3 formation, given the relative stature of their hosts.
Star forward Billel Omrani – who suffered a frustrating night on his return to La Liga action last Friday, being booked and could not find the net – is ready to move on ahead of the Croatian striker Gabriel Debeljuh; with Ciprian Deac, Alexandru Chipciu and the young Claudiu Petrilu, all involved in the creative department.
Meanwhile, Lincoln is expected to persist with the veteran Lee Casciaro and part-time butcher Tjay De Barr in attack, while the captain of the national team Roy Chipolina , who is now 38 years old, will lead the local defense.
After signing from Dinamo Riga earlier this month, the Latvian forward Nikita Kovalonoks He will hope to play from the bench, following his debut in the first leg draw with Fola Esch.
Possible starting lineup for Lincoln Red Imps:
To usually do; Wiseman, Lopes, R. Chipolina, Toscano; Ronan, Yahaya, Walker, Britto; Casciaro, De Barr
CFR Cluj possible starting lineup:
Arlauskis; Manea, Ciobotariu, Bouhenna, Camora; Hoban, Sigurjonsson, Deac; Chipciu, Omrani, Petrilu
Correct Score: Lincoln Red Imps 1-3 CFR Cluj
With a combination of more competitive soccer and a larger pool of talents to draw on, Cluj is a huge favorite to win both stages and advance to the next stage of the qualification process.
Against the modest Lincoln, that should be well within their capabilities, but the rock side possesses some courage and experience that could help them get on the roster before the trip to Transylvania next week.
Our expert tipster partners at Footprediction.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this match. Look here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and to learn more about their tried and true soccer tips.Less than 3.5: data