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Betting preview: Steaua – Universitatea Craiova

July 31, 2010 Leave a comment

One game played so far, excellent results for both teams. Steaua managed to come back from 0-1, away, at Universitatea Cluj, while Craiova was unlucky to get just one point at home, against the reigning champions from CFR Cluj. Morale is excellent for both sides, expectations are high – the game looks unpredictable. Still, there are facts that should help an experienced player make an “inspired” pick for tonight’s match:

  • Steaua will be playing in front of a full house, all the 25.000 tickets have been sold, the home team will count on an intimidating crowd indeed, after a long period of conflicts between the fans and the club’s owner. Keep in mind that Universitatea has one of the youngest teams in the league, but also that the pressure could also get to Steaua’s players (a lot of new faces).
  • Steaua’s first game was based on ball possession, while Craiova was the outsider against CFR, so we can expect pretty much the same approach tonight. The guests will rely on their defense, which looks weak on the left flank – a natural centre-back, Ciuca, is used as a left back – but managed to keep at bay CFR’s impressive strike force, the champion club failing to send 1 (one) shot on goal in 90 minutes! The counters will try to speculate Costea’s pace (lacks composure, so he can waste even 1-v-1 situations) , but I expect Piturca to block the man with the decisive pass, the Bulgarian Gargorov, who was a complete unknown for CFR.
  • Craiova doesn’t have a natural left winger, which is good news for Steaua’s manager, unhappy with his right back’s performance in the first game. Steaua’s full backs should have a lot of freedom to push forward, while the four creative midfielders will test to the max the defensive ability and stamina of Craiova’s two defensive midfielders, Barboianu and Dilevski. Both have a tendency to dive into tackles, yellow cards are almost guaranteed.
  • Steaua’s lone striker, Bogdan Stancu, scored the winner in the first official game, but all the attacking players have good morale and come from convincing performances.
  • Steaua – Universitatea Craiova are usually tensed matches, so I expect a few tough challenges and full determination from everyone involved.
  • The match starts at 19.00 CET and will be broadcasted live by DigiSport.

Want to bet on Romanian football?

May 4, 2010 2 comments

It’s getting close to the end and this is something I’ll probably do on a regular basis, in this blog’s second season: offering some info useful to those who are looking for winning bets.

  • Pandurii – Politehnica Iasi – these two look like relegated teams already, but there is still some hope. Surprisingly, after losing two vital points against Gaz Metan, Politehnica Iasi managed to mess up the trip to Pandurii. The players will go there by bus, not by plane! We’re talking about a 600 km trip, which in Romania should take around 10 hours. And, with just three days between the rounds, at this stage of the season, it’s definitely going to affect the visiting team.
  • Dinamo – FC Timisoara – the home team should be a bit more relaxed after Rapid’s draw away at Medias, they are pretty sure of their place in Europe next season. This should add to the huge defensive problems, where three regular starters will be missed: Molinero (right back), Moti (central defender) and Pulhac (left back). Grigore just returned after a long lay-off and will be probably paired with the average Scarlatache, while on the flanks Talnar will have to “invent” two full-backs. Be careful, though, as Dinamo never relied on its defense, so it could be better to expect only a game with goals at both ends…

Politehnica Iasi – FC Vaslui

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Pick: DNB: FC Vaslui @ 1.74 (Gamebookers)

A regional derby, between two teams in need of points. Poli started the year pretty well, but underperformed last weekend, getting a very lucky away draw against Astra Ploiesti, while FC Vaslui will be looking to bounce back from the ugly defeat suffered at home against Gloria Bistrita. The pressure is on Vaslui and their coach, Marius Lacatus, who is expecting a vote of confidence from his players. Reasons for this pick:

  • Vaslui has a superior roster. The first games in 2010 have been rather disappointing, but the amount of quality players available at FC Vaslui is impressive. Especially in attack, where Gerlem, Wesley, Costly or Burdujan are proven players, but have failed to click for some reason, so coach Lacatus could try and leave out one of two from the first eleven, to gain some balance and not have so many possible match winners looking for the killer punch all the time. Read more…
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