Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After dropping two points in a goalless draw with CSKA Sofia, Roma will be looking to return to winning ways in the Europa League when they host Cluj at their Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening. The Giallorossi failed to turn their dominance into goals in their second group game, and they are surely capable of beating Cluj in the “Eternal City”. Over the years Roma have turned their Stadio Olimpico into a real fortress, but keep in mind that the game will be played behind closed doors.
Cluj, on the other hand, kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win over CSKA Sofia, with team sharing the spoils with Young Boys in their second group game. The Romanians face an uphill task in Thursday’s football match, and seeing that the Romans are eager to get back on course, home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Nikola Kalinic):
Nikola Kalinic is a product of Hajduk Split’s youth school. The 187-cm-tall striker scored 32 goals in 59 appearances for Hajduk at senior level and he played for the likes of Pula and Sibenik in Croatia as well. In 2009 he moved to Blackburn Rovers for fee of £6 million.
Nikola Kalinic made his Blackburn Rovers debut against Sunderland on 22 August, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the Riversiders against Peterborough United in the League Cup. After making 44 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers, the Croatian attacker joined Dnipro in 2011 and he played for the Ukrainian outfit until 2015.
Kalinic signed a four-year deal with Fiorentina on 15 August, 2015 and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign, scoring 12 goals in 36 games. The Fiorentina striker made two appearances for Croatia at the 2016 European Championship in France and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 2-1 win over Spain in the group stages of the competition.
Highlighted Team (CFR Cluj):
Cluj are one of the oldest clubs in Romania as they were founded back in 1907 when the city of Cluj-Napoca was part of Austria-Hungary. The Feroviarii host their rivals at Dr. Constantin Radulescu Stadium, the venue which can hold up to 23,500 spectators.
Cluj are one of the most successful Romanian clubs of the 21st century, with the team clinching their fifth domestic trophy in the 2018/2019 season. Universitatea Cluj are considered the club’s fiercest rivals and it has to be noted that they first faced each other back in October, 1920.
The Feroviarii hold rivalries with Dinamo Bucuresti, Rapid Bucuresti, FCSB, Universitatea Craiova and Politehnica Timisoara as well. Speaking of European competitions, Cluj did well to make it to the UEFA Intertoto Cup final in 2005, with the team losing to French club Lens in the double-header. Cluj footballers wear claret shirts and claret shorts when playing at home, whilst the club’s away kit is white.