UEFA Champions League Group E. Kick off: Tuesday 7.45pm. Live on Sky Sports Red Button.
Steaua may be way out in front in Romania but their early Champions League form has left them floundering at the foot of Group E.
A 4-0 defeat to Chelsea followed a 3-0 loss to Schalke, leaving them pointless, goal-less and -7 in goal difference. They’ll be hoping to take their excellent domestic form, where they’ve won 8 and drawn 1 of their first 9 league matches, into this crucial game against FC Basel.
Italian striker Federico Piovaccari will be one to watch. He’s scored 5 in 7 league appearances and is 9/1 (Paddy Power) to open the scoring in Bucharest.
Murat Yakin’s FC Basel side are also going well domestically. They sit atop the Switzerland Super League on 25 points, three ahead of nearest rivals Grasshoppers, who have played one game less. They’ve yet to lose on the road in all competitions this season, that’s 11 games including a sunning 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 1.
Yakin has a full squad to choose from and having proven that they can cut it at this level the bookies reckon they’re favourites to take the three points rating them at best 6/4 (Paddy Power, Bet365) shots to win. Steaua can be backed at 15/8 (Betfred, Ladbrokes, youwin).
The form tells you that FC Basel can get a result here but I think they’re too skinny at 6/4. Every team in the Champions League has some quality and I wouldn’t be keen to part with money on the Swiss at those odds in a game that could go either way.
Instead I like the look of Both Teams to Score at 4/6. Steaua have scored 17 in 6 home games in the league, averaging almost 3 per game. FC Basel have scored in all but one away game this season and have the firepower to get on the scoresheet here too. The likes of Streller, Sio, Piovaccari and Chipciu all provide some goal threat so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see some goals.