Our prediction for this Europa League match:
A place in the Europa League group stages will be at stake when Crvena zvezda and Cluj face each other in the double header. The Serbian champions suffered a shocking elimination to Sheriff of Moldova in the Champions League third qualifying round, meaning that head coach Dejan Stankovic is under big pressure ahead of the visit of Cluj. Midfielder Zeljko Gavric is no longer part of the team as he joined Ferencvaros at the weekend, while El Fardou Ben is widely expected to return to the starting XI.
As always, a man to watch in the home team will be Aleksandar Katai. Cluj, on the other hand, were not capable of matching Young Boys in the two-legged tie. The Romanians have been struggling at the back in the Champions League qualifiers, but given their attacking potential, both teams to score betting option should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Richmond Boakye):
Richmond Boakye is a Ghana international who plays for Serbian champions Crvena Zvezda. Boakye was born in Agogo, Ghana on January 28, 1993 and 17 years later he started his senior career at Genoa. After scoring one goal in six appearances in the league for the Rossoblu, Boakye joined Sassuolo on loan in 2011. The Ghanaian attacker was producing fine performances with the Neroverdi in the Italian top flight and, as a result, Juventus owners decided to sign a contract with him.
However, he was immediately sent on loan to his former club Sassuolo where he scored 11 goals in 32 appearances in the 2012/2013 season. Boakye played for Elche, Atalanta and Latina before joining Serbian side Red Star Belgrade. The Ghana international quickly established himself as the team’s key attacker, helping the “crveno-beli” win the 2017/2018 season.
After making 15 appearances for Jiangsu Suning, he returned to Crvena Zvezda in the summer of 2018 as Vladan Milojevic’s men booked their place in the Champions League group stages. Boakye scored his first goal for Ghana on his debut against China.
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.