Dinamo – Steaua
Pick: Both teams to score @ 1.90 (Gamebookers)
Hot Romanian derby, but between two teams who play unconvincing football at the moment. Dinamo is in a must win situation, while Steaua could settle for a draw. Which won’t be 0-0. I’ll explain why:
- Dinamo’s firepower. There’s an incredible competition upfront, between established strikers like Marius Niculae, Florin Bratu, Andrei Cristea and Claudiu Niculescu, plus the young guns Alexe, Torje and Zicu. All quality players, who can rely on the likes of the experienced Bostina and N’Doye in midfield, plus the talents of the inconsistent, yet very skilful Adrian Cristea. Dinamo scored twice away against CFR Cluj and at least once in every game played this year.
- Steaua’s defensive problems. Coach Stoichita misses the Bulgarian centre back Zhelev, who gave a bit of experience and consistency in a back four that will also lose the Armenian Artiom Karamyan, who played at left back. Steaua will be forced to improvise, especially in the centre, where the contested Baciu could pair either the inexperienced Tudose or the mediocre Parpas (bought from Cyprus, this winter). Behind them – probably Zapata, who wasn’t very convincing against Otelul, at home, in spite of the clean sheet.
- Steaua’s approach. In every game played this year, Stoichita fielded a strong team from midfield to attack, where top scorer Kapetanos will be joined by the promising and talented Stancu (two goals in four games this year), with Pepe Moreno also a solution for the second half. Their support will come from the flanks, where there’s a tough fight for the two places between Szekely, Nicolita and Toja.
- Dinamo’s “back pains”. Coach Talnar seems ready to back keeper Dolha, who comitted a terrible mistake against CFR Cluj on Saturday, and the pressure will be huge on this emotional unstable keeper, as well as the coach. Dinamo also lost centre-back Dragos Grigore for the rest of the season, so there will be changes in the back four as well.
- The emotional factor. In such games, the two teams will gave 150% and we’ll probably see the ball going quickly from one end to the other and I believe it will be hard for such unstable defenses to hold the line and defend a 1-0 lead.