It took them seven years to win the domestic championship after dominating this league for decades, but eventually Steaua Bucharest climbed to the highest step of the ladder. They could capitalize on that performance and win the Super Cup as well, as the reigning champions will face Petrolul in Bucharest. The team was mired in seemingly endless scandals and was on the verge of being eliminated from all European competitions due to corruption allegations.
The scandal is not yet behind them, and with the owner behind bars for more than three years the future doesn’t look too good for Steaua Bucharest. Right now they have a chance of adding another trophy to their impressive collection and with the most important players still in their backyard, they are compelled to live in the moment. Petrolul is not an opponent to underestimate, but this team lacks experience at the highest level and this year’s performance is one of the best in their recent history.
The visitors spent most of the time in the second league and only recently made the step upward, so finishing on the third-place could be regarded as a breakthrough. The last couple of rounds highlighted their lack of experience and the inability to deal with high-pressure, as Petrolul slipped to the third-place. They were lucky to win the Cup as this performance would grant them a chance to compete for European glory, but the road ahead of them is long and tedious.
Fans will be swarming at the National Arena in Bucharest and will create an inferno that should benefit Steaua, while putting the visitors under tremendous pressure. Petrolul has been there before and yet they prevailed at the expense of former champions CFR Cluj, but back then they had thousands of players traveling to the capital from Ploiesti. Facing the team that won the championship by a landslide is an entirely different kind of challenge and it is hard to believe that Petrolul will cause a major upset.
What is certain is that both teams will field offensive starting formation featuring two strikers and this match is unlikely to be heading towards a scoreless draw. Bokila and Younes are by far the most prolific strikers for the visiting team, but Steaua Bucharest has the best defensive in Romanian football and should neutralize them easily. To catch a glimpse at the bigger picture and see how the two teams fared last year visit http://int.soccerway.com/national/romania/liga-i/20122013/regular-season/r18186/.