Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Stadion Balgarska Armija will host Thursday’s Europa League game between CSKA Sofia and Cluj. CSKA Sofia made it to the group stages by beating Basel 3-1 on the road, and, no doubt, the Bulgarians are high on confidence ahead of the visit of Cluj. The Romanians, on the other hand, were beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifiers, but thanks to back-to-back wins over Djurgarden and Kups, they booked their place in the Europa League group stages.
The two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions, and seeing that they are evenly matched, we believe that punters can find value in betting on draw. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Gambia international Ali Sowe, while CSKA defenders should have Cluj summer signing Gabriel Debeljuh, who scored 12 goals for Hermannastadt last season, at bay.
Highlighted Player (Dimitar Evtimov):
Dimitar Evtimov is a Bulgarian goalkeeper who plays for Accrington Stanley in the League One. The 190-cm tall shot-stopper played for the likes of Volov Shumen and Chavdar Etropole during his youth career and he continued playing for the Chavdar Stadium outfit at senior level.
Dimitar Evtimov then decided to take a step forward in his career as he signed for English club Nottingham Forest in April 2011. After spending a brief time loan at Ilkeston, he signed a loan deal with Gainsborough Trinity in November, 2011. The Bulgarian goalkeeper played for the likes of Nuneaton Town, Mansfield Town, Olhanense and Port Vale on loan as well before signing a contract with Burton Albion in September, 2018.
However, seeing that he was hungry for a first-team football at Pirelli Stadium, Dimitar Evtimov decided to move to Accrington Stanley in the winter of 2019. He was on the verge of keeping a clean sheet on his Acctington debut, but the capital club eventually broke the deadlock, winning the game 1-0.
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.