Like Celtic, Cluj won in their league game at the weekend, they beat Hermannstadt 3-0. Celtic came back from a goal down to beat Motherwell 5-2 at Fir Park.
Cluj appear to be trying to place all the pressure on Celtic, first manager Dan Petrescu compared Celtic to Barcelona and now stand in captain Adrian Paun feels they have it all to do to get a result at Celtic Park.
“We need a miracle to qualify.” Paun told the Daily Record.
“The morale in the squad is excellent at the moment and we are playing some nice football, but to go through in Glasgow, it’s a miracle we need.
Looking back at last weeks match, Cluj were well worth a share of the spoils. The good news for Celtic is that they got a result while not playing at their best.
How Cluj handle the Celtic Park atmosphere will be telling, better teams than the Romanians have crumbled.
Celtic should go into the match confident, Cluj best chance to get through was winning their home match. In the previous two rounds, they have fallen to a 1-0 loss away to Astana and a 2-2 draw away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
The biggest concern going into the match is the unsettled defence. Bolingoli looks no where near an adequate replacement for Kiernan Tierney, albeit early days for the Belgian. With suspension meaning Jullien and Simunovic have missed games the defence has been all over the place.
Hatem Abd Elmahed has looked a good replacement for Mikael Lustig at right back and should he be fit should slot into the team meaning Kris Ajer can move back into centre defence to help command that area of the pitch.
The match will be aired live on Celtic TV and with an expectant near capacity crowd, Celtic should be roared on to finish the job in Glasgow.
Prediction Celtic 4-0 Cluj.
Mick Kane hails from Glasgow. He has been hooked on Celtic since he went to his first game when he was 7. Celtic beat Hamilton 8-3 at Celtic Park on the 3rd of January 1987. His favourite player at the time, Brian McClair scored four goals.
He started going regular as a 16 year old when Celtic played at Hampden for the season, being a Southsider it meant a short train journey to get to Hampden. From then he has had a season ticket travelled around Europe for games as Celtic became the dominant force in Scottish football again. A nice change from growing up during Rangers run to 9 in a row.