By Mihai Chiper, Elena Toader
Romania will play this evening against Luxembourg in Group D of the EURO 2012 qualifiers. Romania should win all three points considering it will next play at home against France on September 6. After 6 group games, Romania is 4th with 8 points, 5 points behind group leader France. The team trained on Bucharest’s National Arena for the first time on Tuesday. The arena will be inaugurated on September 6.
The Federation’s leadership, the team’s coaching staff and the players left for Luxembourg yesterday, the atmosphere being sober and cautious ahead of a game against Group D’s bottom-ranking team.
Fullback Cristian Sapunaru has traveled with the team although he is suspended and cannot play against Luxembourg. Two of the players that were called up for the games against Luxembourg and France did not join the team. Thus, Stefan Radu (Lazio) left the national team’s training camp on Wednesday because he did not recover from a knee injury, while head coach Victor Piturca allowed midfielder Banel Nicolita to leave for France where he will undergo medical tests in view of a transfer to AS Saint-Etienne. Banel Nicolita will join Romania’s team directly at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.
Adrian Mutu and Gabriel Tamas were banned from the team on disciplinary grounds and will not play in the two games. Nevertheless, Adrian Mutu will travel to Luxembourg and will watch the game from the stands.