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Romania should make life difficult for their ex-coach

Lucescu brings experimental Turkey squad to Cluj

Mihai Balasa (right) is one of a number of impressive Romania youngsters
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International friendly
6.15pm Thursday

Romania boast a formidable home record in international friendlies and they look a decent bet to notch up a win against an experimental Turkey.

The arrival of the Turks in Cluj means a welcome home for Mircea Lucescu, the Romanian coach who spent five years in charge of the Tricolorii before going globe-trotting.

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Lucescu took charge of Turkey with four matches remaining of their World Cup qualifying campaign. Qualification was very much on offer, especially after they beat Croatia 1-0.

However, a calamitous 3-0 home loss to Iceland scuppered their hopes and in a country where failure simply isn't tolerated, the 72-year-old is up against it just a few months into his reign.

Lucescu has brought an experimental squad to Cluj with the likes of Arda Turan, Mehmet Topal and Burak Yalmiz not selected. Several others, including Celta Vigo starlet Emre Mor, have dropped out with injuries.

They are a long way from full strength and are unlikely to find it easy against a Romania side who are improving under new boss Cosmin Contra.

Former national team right-back Contra replaced Christoph Daum in September, the German paying the price for a failure to get Romania to the World Cup.

Contra has taken charge of two matches – their final two qualifiers – and masterminded a 3-1 win against Kazakhstan and 1-1 draw in Denmark.

He has kept faith with a lot of recognised faces but is also looking to the future with the likes of impressive Steaua young­sters Mihai Balasa and Florin Tanase.

Romania have lost only one of their last 15 home friendlies.

2pts 8-5 Betfair, BoyleSports

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Turkey are a long way from full strength and are unlikely to find it easy against a Romania side who are improving
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