CFR, who lost lost 1-0 to Bordeaux a fortnight ago, will be looking to turn the tables on their opponents tonight and maintain an unlikely push for a place in the knockout stages.
“It’s an important game and we’re confident,” CFR coach Maurizio Trombetta said. “It’s a decisive match, like all the rest, but there is only a point between us and Bordeaux so it is even more important.”
Just one point separates second-placed CFR from both Roma and Bordeaux. After the team from Transylvania beat Roma and then held section leaders Chelsea, the Matchday 3 defeat in Bordeaux was CFR’s first setback at this level.
Cadu’s own goal was the difference between the sides in France and Trombetta anticipates another tight encounter.
“We have to play to our maximum to win,” he said. “Bordeaux will play the same here as they did in the away leg, very fast in attack and dangerous on the counter. But we’re at home and have to dominate. We’ve had one more day’s rest than them and that could be an advantage for us.”
Both Trombetta and his opposite number Laurent Blanc are forced into changes from the teams fielded at the Stade Chaban-Delmas on 22 October.
Trombetta will be without strikers Didi, who injured his left knee against Unirea, and Diego Ruiz. Midfielder Eugen Trica is suspended after being sent off in Bordeaux and should be replaced by Dani, with Ciprian Deac an option up front.
For Bordeaux, Matthieu Valverde takes over from Ulrich Rame after the veteran goalkeeper suffered a recurrence of a groin injury in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Nancy. Blanc’s main concern is the fitness of central midfielder Fernando who is struggling with a back problem.
“A draw won’t help our cause hugely but it wouldn’t eliminate us 100 per cent either,” Blanc said when quizzed about his side’s qualification prospects. “A victory would put us in a comfortable position, even if it will still be very difficult. Cluj, though, must win – they are playing for qualification in this game.
“To have a hope of progress we needed positive results against Cluj – we got one at home, now we must do the same in Cluj. They are well-organised and it is up to us not to fall into their trap, by opening up and giving them too much space, because that is what they are looking for.”