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Clujl ook goodt o earn the resultt hey need; FOOTBALL.

SLOVANLI BERECvC LUJ 6pm ROMANIAN champions CFR Cluj were the dominant side for the majority of last Wednesday's 1-0 victory at home to Slovan Liberec and can advance to the Champions League play-off round by avoiding defeat at the u Nisy Stadium tonight, writes Dan Childs.

Cluj needed a second-half penalty converted by Portuguese defender Cadu to achieve a narrow first-leg victory and that was the least they deserved.

Historically, Cluj have spent most of their existence in the lower leagues of Romanian football but significant investment has gone into the club over the last decade, paving the way for domestic title successes in 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12 and Champions League groupstage appearances in 2008 and 2010.

They have been active in the market this summer, sign ing Romanian international winger Ciprian Deac from Schalke and Hungarian international midfielder Adam Vass from Brescia.

And they appear to be in good shape to enjoy another successful campaign after they extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to five games with Saturday's 3-0 victory at home to last season's league runners-up Vaslui.

Slovan Liberec will be happy to have kept themselves in the tie with the help of some disciplined defending on their trip to Romania.

However, a big improvement will be needed for them to turn the tie around and it is doubtful whether they have the ability to deliver.

Last season's Czech title success was achieved partly because of the European commitments of Viktoria Plzen, who finished just three points behind.

However, Liberec have been weakened by the sale of attacking right-back Theo Gebre Selassie to Werder Bremen and their limitations were on display in the previous Champions League qualifying round when they needed extra-time to achieve a 2-1 aggregate success over Kazakhstan side Shakhter Karagandy.

Recommendation Cluj +0.5 on Asian handicap 3pts 17-20 BetVictor

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The arrival of Ciprian Deac has strengthened Cluj's squad
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EXRO
Date:Aug 8, 2012
Words:317
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