Ripensia Timisoara vs U. Cluj
Ripensia have been one of the most successfull teams in Romanian football in the interbelic period, with 4 titles, 2 runners-up position, 2 Cups and also 2 lost finals. Unfortunately, their beatiful story ended in 1948, but 2 years ago, the team was brought back to life and participated in the regional championship from Timisoara county. Now they are playing in the 5th tier and they produced a huge surprise on the previous round, eliminating second division outfit UTA Arad (3-0).
Ioan Ganea has done a miraculous job at U.Cluj on the second half of the last season, managing to help the team to avoid the drop, defying all the odds, but that task proves much trickier this time, as U. Cluj have collected just 2 points after 8 rounds. The pressure is mounting, there are voices asking for his head, so the last thing he need is being eliminated from the Cup. He will rest several key players, as on Friday they will play a very important league match vs relegation rivals, Navodari.
This is a match between a 5th division side Ripensia and top division club, "U" Cluj. It could be more challenging than on first sight, as Ganea will rotate a little, but I still think "U. Cluj is good enough to grab the win. The projected lineup is a nice mix between youngsters who want to impress (Calcan, Ursu, Prescura), proven players who needs match practice (Lemnaru, Lungu) and experienced players (Abrudan, Balde). The guests need a win after a disastrous start of the season, so I think they will push for a clear victory.
Pick: U. Cluj
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