Roma vs. Cluj – Europa League, November 5, 2020
Roma and Cluj are locked on four points at the top of Group A as the two sides prepare to face each other at Stadio Olimpico on Thursday, November 5.
Both teams remain unbeaten in this season’s Europa League, and they have each suffered just one domestic defeat in 2020/21.
I discuss the bookies’ odds before sharing my Roma vs. Cluj prediction and betting pick.
Roma vs. Cluj Odds
The best online betting sites view Roma (1.31) as the favorite to win this one. After all, the Italian side is among the frontrunners to go all the way in the tournament this season.
The bookmakers aren’t giving Cluj (8.00) much of a chance on Thursday, but the Romanians will certainly fancy their chances of upsetting the odds.
I assess both sides’ chances below.
Roma vs. Cluj Preview
Roma heads into this clash on a seven-game unbeaten streak in all competitions. The run has seen the Giallorossi claim four victories, along with impressive draws against Serie A high-fliers Juventus and AC Milan.
Paulo Fonseca’s men secured a relatively straightforward 2-1 win over Young Boys to kick off their Europa League campaign, but they were held to a disappointing goalless draw by CSKA Sofia on Matchday 2.
It is safe to say that Roma completely dominated the Bulgarians last week. The Giallorossi enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and bombarded their opponent’s goal with a whopping 21 shots. But Fonseca’s side ultimately failed to make their superiority count.
However, Roma found life a lot easier last time out, with Pedro getting on the scoresheet in a 2-0 victory over Fiorentina. The Spaniard has been a revelation since arriving from Chelsea, bagging three goals and two assists in his last four Serie A appearances.
Cluj suffered their first defeat of the season on Sunday as Gaz Metan claimed a rare win over the Romanian champions. The Railwaymen went unbeaten in their opening eight domestic games this term, but they have now fallen six points off the pace in the Liga I title race.
Still, Cluj’s European exploits have seen the club cement first place in Group A, albeit on goal difference. Strikes from Mario Rondon and Ciprian Deac saw Dan Petrescu’s side beat CSKA Sofia 2-0 on Matchday 1, before Rondon scored for the second consecutive Europa League game to earn his team a 1-1 draw against Young Boys last week.
Following the draw with Young Boys and the defeat to Gaz Metan, Cluj is currently enduring a rare two-game winless run. The Romanians are used to dominating domestically, but they haven’t had it all their own way this year.
Roma vs. Cluj Pick
Roma to Win1.31
Given that Roma has only lost one of their eight games in all competitions this season, Fonseca’s men will be confident of adding another win to their tally. The Giallorossi cruised past Fiorentina last time out, and I’m expecting a similar performance on Thursday.
In fairness, Cluj has performed well in the Europa League this term. But the Romanians are yet to face a team of Roma’s quality. I’m backing the Italian side to win this one and leapfrog Cluj at the top of Group A.