Roma will look to overhaul CFR Cluj and secure top spot in Group A as they welcome their opponents to the Eternal City for matchday three of the 2020/2021 Europa League on Thursday, November 5th.
Preview: Roma vs CFR Cluj
Roma come into this match having secured a gritty 2-0 win over Fiorentina, which sees the Giallorossi sitting in eighth spot in the Serie A table. They still have some ways to go to catch the top four, but with teams like Sassuolo still managing to sit ahead of reigning champions Juventus on 14 points and only three points keeping the Neroverdi ahead of Roma’s 11, it’s only a matter of time before the Lupi are back in contention for a Champions League spot once the league really starts to take shape.
It was exactly the result Paulo Fonesca needed after his side threw away a golden opportunity to seize top spot in Group A by failing to win against Eastern European outfit CSKA Sofia on matchday two. The Giallorossi were surprisingly inefficient in front of goal as their opponents were able to hold them to a scoreless draw with a doggedly defensive performance, and that wasted opportunity now sees them sitting behind their upcoming opponents, CFR Cluj on goal difference ahead of their showdown at the Stadio Olimpico this Thursday.
It’s quite frustrating as CSKA Sofia have not even scored a single goal so far in this contest, so that draw for them will have felt like a very satisfying victory. Meanwhile, CFR Cluj, thanks to Roma’s failure to seize advantage, squeaked into top spot by scoring in their own draw with Young Boys and will be hoping to pull off some kind of upset like they did back in 2008 when they arrived at the Stadio Olimpico for their first ever meeting in European competition.
That was in the UCL group stages, and they managed to secure a 2-1 victory. To date, that remains their sole win over the Lupi in four European matches. This will be their first ever meeting in the Europa League, and it goes without saying that the Giallorossi will be loathe to allow a repeat of that September 16, 2008 result to happen on November 5, 2020. Given that Cluj have fared badly on the road as of late – they’ve lost six of their last nine away games post qualifying – that’s something that the Lupi will seek to exploit in order to set themselves up nicely for the second half of their group stage campaign and consolidate their grip on top spot in their quartet.
Team news: Roma vs CFR Cluj
Roma: Gianluca Mancini is suspended for this game, while veteran defender Chris Smalling may be given a rest. In addition, Davide Santon looks set to miss out, Amadou Diawara is still in isolation due to COVID-19, and Carles Perez has suffered a thigh strain.
CFR Cluj: No notable injuries or suspensions for the visitors ahead of this match.
Match facts: Roma vs CFR Cluj
This will be the first Europa League meeting between Roma and CFR Cluj
However, the two sides have met four times prior in the UCL
Roma’s record against CFR Cluj is W2 D1 L1