CFR Cluj V FC Astana Betting Tips: Under 2.5 Goals – 17 July 2019

Another cagey affair expected

Champions League Tips

CFR Cluj V FC Astana

Wednesday, 17th July 2019 – 19:00 Kick-Off
UEFA Champions League First Round Qualifying
Pick: Under 2.5 Goals
Odds: 8/13
Bookmaker: BetVictor

1 X 2
67/100 5/2 21/5

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of 16th July 2019 at 11:58)

First Leg: FC Astana 1-0 CFR Cluj (Goals: Yevgeny Postnikov)

Preview: Kazakhstan champions FC Astana are taking a slender advantage to Romania for this deciding second leg, where the hosts will be bidding to overturn the deficit inside their Dr. Constantin Radulescu stadium. Neither side are famous for their attacking exploits, with both boasting incredibly mean rearguards; therefore, this could be a cagey second installment between these two teams.

UEFA Champions League Betting at 22Bet

 

CFR Cluj Preview

A subdued performance out in Kazakhstan, where they scarcely created a scoring opportunity and could only muster a single attempt on target, has left CFR Cluj with plenty of work to be doing back in Romania. For a club with a poor recent record in this competition when playing as the home side, it could be argued that Dan Petrescu’s team have left themselves with too much to do despite only trailing 1-0.

Since 2014, five-time Romanian champions Cluj have contested five UEFA competition qualifiers and secured victory in the home leg on only one occasion: W1 D1 L3. Focusing more on their recent endeavours, which would be last season: “The White and Burgundies” were eliminated in the second round of qualifying for the Champions League following a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Swedish side Malmo. That included a 1-0 reverse at home.

That meant demotion to Europa League qualifiers, where they thrashed Armenian outfit Alashkert 5-0 at home (7-0 on aggregate). That was before once again faltering at home, exiting in the play-off round to Luxembourg’s F91 Dudelange as they lost 3-2 at home and 5-2 on aggregate. On the basis of these recent efforts, Cluj have a fair amount to find on current form if they’re to turn the balance of this tie in their favour even with home support behind them.

They will need to find inspiration from their displays domestically. Just one team could better them inside their Dr. Constantin Radulescu Stadium last term, where they recorded a disconcerting number of draws during the regular season (W5 D7 L1) but, evidently, raised their levels during the Championship Round to conclude the season with four wins out of five at home. A second consecutive Romanian Liga 1 title was their prize for such sparkling end-of-season form.

0-0 Correct Score
7/1

Bet365

 

FC Astana Preview

It was a case of mission complete last week, as Astana registered an important victory in the home leg in Kazakhstan. It was left relatively late though, while the margin of victory certainly wasn’t as substantial as they would have wanted. Defender Yevgeny Postnikov scoring the only goal of the game in the 68th minute to hand the five-time national champions the initiative heading over to Romania.

Having created a few openings, to then not eek out a bigger winning margin could come back to haunt them. Especially as this team aren’t renowned for their traveling capabilities, whether that be in Europe or on the domestic front. “The Blue and Yellows” are formidable at home, where they went the entirety of the previous league campaign unbeaten, but on the road incurred all four of their losses and have already fallen to two away defeats in the current campaign (W5 D2 L2).

The picture doesn’t improve in European action, either. Since 2015 the club have contested 11 matches away from home in Champions League qualifiers. Their record? Just two wins and only five goals scored (W2 D4 L5, GF5 GA11). Fortunately for them, winning isn’t imperative ahead of this decisive second leg – because you couldn’t bank on them doing so on the basis of some of their recent efforts.

A common theme in all of their recent Champions League qualifiers has been a lack of goals, specifically as the traveling team. In the past two seasons just one of their five away CL qualifiers have breached the Over 2.5 Goals mark, with three producing one goal or fewer. A strong indication, perhaps, that Astana place a lot of emphasis on getting numbers behind the ball and defending deep in a bid to keep matters tight away from home.

 

CFR Cluj V FC Astana Key Facts:

  • Cluj won one of last five European matches on home soil (W1 D1 L3).
  • Astana played 11 times away from home in CL Qualifiers and won only twice (W2 D4 L5).
  • The only goal in the first leg was scored by Yevgeny Postnikov, earning Astana a 1-0 aggregate lead.

 

Betting Summary

Champions in their respective countries last season, both teams owed much of their success to some eye-catching defensive numbers. Cluj conceded 20 goals in 36 league games whereas Astana shipped 22 in their 33 domestic fixtures. It is easy, therefore, to understand how the first leg was cagey and low on goalmouth action. It could be more of the same in Romania.

Unfortunately for us, bookmakers are one step ahead. Under 2.5 Goals is 8/13 with BetVictor, which is short although I had envisaged it being shorter still. Under 1.5 is 15/8 with the same bookmaker, while the 0-0 correct score might be worth a small flutter at a general 7/1.

Astana will play for a low-scoring outcome, as they invariably do on the road in Europe. Cluj will prefer being back in Romania but drew too frequently at home last season (8 of 18 in the league), and have struggled as hosts in recent European ties, winning one of their last five. The most recent of which being a shock 3-2 defeat to Luxembourg’s Dudelange last year that eliminated them from Europe altogether. A win feels beyond the visitors, so it could pay to plump for the draw in a contest which is likely to be close.


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