Steaua Bucharest vs. Dinamo Bucharest: Romanian Derby Preview

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Steaua Bucharest vs. Dinamo Bucharest: Romanian Derby Preview
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Romanian league leaders Steaua Bucharest take on rivals Dinamo in the Eternal Derby on Saturday.

Steaua Bucharest hold a nice advantage going into the city derby against local rivals Dinamo Bucharest.

Steaua, European Cup winners in 1986, are top of the Liga I table and have a 16-point cushion on fifth-placed Dinamo.

So, although form would suggest it is going to be a one-sided affair when the fierce rivals meet in the "eternal derby" on Saturday evening, it could be closer than expected.

Steaua Bucharest vs. Dinamo Bucharest: Romanian Derby and Preview
Fixture Date Time
Steaua Bucharest vs. Dinamo Bucharest Saturday, March 1 7 p.m. GMT, 2 p.m. ET

Soccerway

 

Michael Steele/Getty Images
The Steaua Bucharest side before their Champions League game against Chelsea.

Preview

Dinamo have won their last three games and are a side in form, but considering they are unbeaten in 20 domestic games this season, Steaua have the look of a side permanently in form.

Laurentiu Reghecampf's side have won 14 out of 20 in the league and conceded just 13 all campaign to give them the best goal difference in the division.

As if that wasn't bad enough for the visitors, they have lost every last one of the last five meetings with their rivals, dating back to 2011.

Steaua have won eight out of nine home games so far this season and look a good bet to continue that trend, but they won't be given an easy ride with city pride at stake.

Romanian football journalist Emanuel Rosu summed up the atmosphere and anticipation for the match in Bucharest with this tweet:

Despite their status as the best side in the league, Steaua don't have an out-and-out goalscorer, and Italian striker Federico Piovaccari is their leading marksman with seven.

He's not the only goal threat, though. Romanian midfielder Adrian Popa has six, while Nicolae Claudiu has five.

Dinamo's top goalscorer is midfielder Dorin Rotariu, who has scored five this season, while striker Marius George Tucudean has bagged five as well.

 

Michael Steele/Getty Images
Steaua Bucharest defenders close out a pass from Oscar.

Prediction

Considering what is at stake, both sides will give everything to win, but it will be a major upset if Steaua don't come away with maximum points.

Only the top side qualifies for the Champions League from Romania's Liga I, and with only a three-point lead at the top of the division, Steaua need to keep winning to ensure they edge out Astra Giurgiu.

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