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    Can Cluj take first leg advantage?

    23 July 2019 | Champions League | Preview
    Can Cluj take first leg advantage?

    Romania’s Cluj will host Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv in their Champions League second qualifying round first leg match on Wednesday night.

    Cluj qualified for the second round of qualifying by defeating Kazakhstan’s Astana 3-2 on aggregate. After losing the first leg in Kazakhstan, 1-0, Cluj won the second match at home 3-1 to take the tie.

    Maccabi Tel Aviv won last season’s Israeli league and now enter the Champions League qualifying stages at the second round. Unlike Cluj, Macabi Tel Aviv did not have to compete in the Champions League first qualifying round.

    Cluj began their domestic seasons on July 13th. The Romanians have picked up four points from six possible in Liga 1. Cluj’s season opening 1-1 draw against Politehnica Iasi could have been a result of fatigue from their Champions League first qualifying round tie against Astana.

    Maccabi Tel Aviv won the Israel Super Cup over the weekend to kick off their domestic season. Manager Vladimir Ivic’s team defeated Bnei Yehuda 1-0 to lift the Israel Super Cup.

    The winner of the Champions League second round tie will meet either Celtic or Nomme Kalju. Whichever side gets through the tie, Cluj or Maccabi Tel Aviv, will not have it easy if they face off with Celtic in the third qualifying round.

    Due to Israeli domestic league rules, Maccabi Tel Aviv can only have six non-Israeli nations. A lack of top-class internationals could prevent them from making the group stage. However, Maccabi Tel Aviv do have the potential to progress to the third qualifying round at the least.

    In July, Maccabi Tel Aviv signed English striker Nick Blackman on a free transfer. Blackman is in his second spell with Maccabi Tel Aviv. His first was a success as he scored 11 goals in 39 matches in all competitions.

    Cluj are led by former Chelsea player Dan Petrescu. Cluj are regulars in the Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds. The Romanians won their fifth Liga 1 title last term to reach the qualifying rounds once more.

    Playing at home will help Cluj when they face off with Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday night. It is over 2,700 kilometres from Tel Aviv to Romania.

    The distance and travel could play a role in the first leg. Conversely, it could also play a big part in the second when they play in Israel.

    The first leg will be a close, cagey affair. The two sides are quite close in quality. However, Cluj will have their home supporters behind them which will get them over the line against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Expect under 2.5 goals scored as the two sides struggle to get an upper hand. Cluj will pull of a narrow victory and take an advantage to Israel next week.

    Home team - Away team Probability in% Forebet Correct score Avg. goals Weather conditions Odds Kelly Criterion Score
    1 X 2
    Champions League | 2nd Qualifying Round
    flag_13  CL
    CFR ClujMaccabi Tel Aviv
    24/07/2019 20:00 GMT
    403228 1 1 - 0 2.15 15° 2.08
    1 - 0
    (1 - 0)

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