More European Cup qualification play set for Wednesday, this time it’ll be Europa League group play. In this preview we’ll take a look at a Group E matchup between Romanian Liga 1 side CFR Cluj and Scottish Premier League entrant Celtic FC. Currently, the four team group remains wide open with Cluj taking the only victory in the opening fixture of play. That puts them atop the group table with 3 points, Celtic and Rennes have 1 apiece and Lazio has 0 points.
Celtic’s Scotish Premier League season is off to a good start and the team has yet to taste defeat. They’ve got a 6-1-0 record with 22 goals scored and only 5 conceded for 19 points and a +17 goal differential. Despite this strong early season showing they’ve been unable to open any space between themselves and their longtime foils Rangers who are 1 point behind Celtic and have nearly as good of a differential at +16. They opened Europa League Group play with a 1-1 draw against Rennes at Roazhon Park.
Cluj is also in a tight competition in their national league. They sit atop the table after 11 games with 24 points and a solid +20 differential but they’re just 2 ahead of Universitatea Craiova and 3 up on Viitorul. They began their Europa League campaign with a 2-1 home win over Lazio. Cluj and Celtic definitely have some ‘history’ as the Romanian side eliminated ‘The Bhoys’ from Champions League competition at this venue back in August. That was their first win in their previous 5 European tournament fixtures. Cluj has not won an away fixture since their August victory here going 0-2-3.
Big revenge spot for Celtic and Cluj has been very porous defensively of late. Look for the Scottish side to win in a high scoring game.