Tonight, Steaua Bucuresti and Rio Ave will meet for a match in the third round of Group J of Europa League. The Romanian team is seen as favorite by the bookmakers, but the Portuguese team will go all the way to Bucharest with the thought of winning all the three points at stake. Likewise, the guests are in great need of a victory in order to qualify for the Spring European championship, so we do not exclude for the “blue and red” team to face some problems.
Simon Lee Evans will referee tonight’s match, the Welshman being assisted by Philip Thomas and Edward King. The 39 year old referee received his FIFA badge in 2004, but throughout his entire career he has only refereed six Europa League matches. He also refereed in 2013 a match played between a Romanian team and a Portuguese one, mainly the one between Pandurii Târgu Jiu and Pacos Ferreira. Evans has given no less than four red cards in the matches of this competition.
Steaua had debuted in the Europa League groups with a victory obtained with the score of 6-0 on their own pitch against Aalborg. The Romanian team has had a good performance in the second half, when the scored all the six goals. The team coached by Constantin Gâlcă then went to Kiev, where she was defeated by Dinamo with the score of 3-1. Considering the game they have played this season, the Romanian team starts with high chances for qualifying in these stages of the competition. The hosts of this confrontation are sat on the first place in the internal competition, having a three points margin from the second spot. The main weapon of the Romanian team is the offensive line, where we find players such as Sânmărtean, Rusescu, Keșeru or Chipciu. The hosting team has not been defeated on her own pitch in an European competition since October 2013, when they lost the match against Chelsea.
Unlike in the first match of the group, now Steaua can count on the support of their won fans. Their interest for this particular meeting being somehow low, because until Wednesday morning only 11.000 tickets had been sold. Regarding the players’ lot, it seems like the hosts’ manager would not be able to rely on Fernando Varela, who suffered from a sprain in the last match of the championship. Likewise, Iancu sustained a surgery at the meniscus and will be spared, while Luchin was suspended for ever playing in this European season. Rusescu ane Chipciu have also had some medical problems, but they still have chances to play for a few minutes. The good news for the Romanian team is that Alexandru Bourceanu has started training with the team again, the 29 year old midfielder preparing himself for the match against Dinamo, that will take place at the end of the month.
Gâlcă declared that Rio Avehave many young players in the team, who are also very fast. He also added that a victory today will help them reach the first place in the group. Raul Rusescu thinks that for both teams, tonight’s meeting is a crucial one.
Last 5 matches Steaua București:
|19.10.14||LIG||Steaua București||‘U’ Cluj||4 : 1|
|05.10.14||LIG||Oţelul Galaţi||Steaua București||0 : 3|
|02.10.14||EUR||Din. Kiev||Steaua București||3 : 1|
|28.09.14||LIG||Steaua București||Astra Giurgiu||0 : 0|
|25.09.14||CUP||Berceni||Steaua București||0 : 3|
Rio Ave need a positive result in order to keep the chances for qualifying in the European Spring Championship. The team from Portugal has not won any points yet and is thus sat in the last place of the group. “Rio Grande” were clearly defeated on their own pitch by Dinamo Kiev and then lost the away match against Aalborg with the score of 0-1. The guests have had a modest performance, winning only one of the previous eight official matches. They are sat on the sixth place in the internal championship and the distance between them and he first spot has grown already to wight points. Rio Ave play for the first time in European competitions, obtaining quite hard the qualification in the competition’s groups. The guests of this meeting usually have a pragmatic game and base themselves on defense.
Pedro Moreira and Lionn have trained this week separately from the rest of the team, they following a recovery program after some muscular problems. The two of them were left at the end outside the lot, which contains 19 players. The guests have reached Bucharest on Wednesday and last night trained on the National Arena. It is possible that Pedro Martins to use even from the start Alhassan Wakaso, a midfielder who disappointed in the first part of the season. Diego Lopes seems at the first glance to be the main offensive weapon of the guests, the young Brazilian scoring three goals in the current season. Rio Ave played on Sunday in Taca de Portugal, but the Portuguese coach spared then a few players just for this particular meeting.
Last 5 matches Rio Ave
|19.10.14||TAC||Coimbroes||Rio Ave||0 : 1|
|05.10.14||PRI||Nacional||Rio Ave||0 : 0|
|02.10.14||EUR||Aalborg||Rio Ave||1 : 0|
|27.09.14||PRI||Braga||Rio Ave||3 : 0|
|24.09.14||LEA||Chaves||Rio Ave||1 : 1|
Steaua București – Rio Ave statistics:
– the two teams have never met before
– Steaua haven’t won neither of the four matches played against a team from Portugal
– Steaua have not received a single home goal in the last three Europa League matches
– Constantin Gâlcă’s team has only been defeated by Ludogorets and Dinamo Kiev in the eight matches played in this current European competition
– Steaua have scored a total of 13 home goals in the previous four official matches
– managing to score each three goals, Keșeru and Rusescu both lie in the head of the goalscorer rank alongside two other players
– four out of the six matches played by Rio Ave in Europa League have ended with under 2.5 goals scored
– the Portuguese team has only won one of the previous six official away matches
– “Rio Grande” are one of the seven teams that have not scored this season a single goal in the Europa League groups
– the team coached by Pedro Martins has scored a single goal in the last four matches
Steaua București – Rio Ave probable teams:
Steaua (4-2-3-1): Arlauskis – Râpă, Papp, Szukała, Latovlevici – Prepeliţă, Breeveld – Popa, Sânmărtean, Tănase – Keșeru
Rio Ave (4-3-3): Cassio – Lopes, Marcelo, Gouoano, Pinto – Tarantini, Wakaso, Renan – Ukra, Boateng, Lopes
Steaua Bucureşti – Rio Ave sports betting odds
Our tip suggestions
The Romanian team is currently in a good shape and are aiming for another home victory in this competition. The team trained by Gâlcă clearly defeated in the first stage Aalborg and today she will meet an opponent just as strong. More than this, Rio Ave have had a modest performance in the last period, so Steaua can take advantage of their weak shape. “Rio Grande” haven’t scored a single goal in the first two matches and has obvious problems on the offensive line. Gâlcă bases on the attack line with fast players, who can make anytime the difference. Steaua are by far the favorite of this meeting and we believe they will win all the three points at sake here.
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Over 2.5 goals
Tonight’s meeting is an important one for both teams, because Steaua aims for the first place in the groups while Rio Ave desperately needs a positive result to keep their chances for the qualifying in the superior stages of the competition. Steaua are renowned for their spectacular match and it is probable that they might score at least two goals. Still, we expect the guests to put up a fight, they will surely struggle for the victory. We anticipate an opened match, between two teams that aim for all the three points, so we bet on at least three goals to be scored.