Euro 2024 Group E Opponent Preview: Romania

Belgium have been drawn in a group that, on paper, they should be able to qualify from. They are joined by Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. The latter are likely to provide the sternest of tests in Germany, but Slovakia and Romania should not be underestimated.

Goalkeepers: Florin Nita (Gaziantep), Horatiu Moldovan (Atletico Madrid), Stefan Tarnovanu (FCSB), Razvan Sava (CFR Cluj)

Defenders: Nicusor Bancu (Universitatea Craiova), Andrei Burca (Al Okhdood), Ionut Nedelcearu (Palermo), Adrian Rus (Pisa), Andrei Ratiu (Rayo Vallecano), Radu Dragusin (Tottenham Hotspur), Vasile Mogos (CFR Cluj), Bogdan Racovitan (Rakow Czestochowa)

Midfielders: Nicolae Stanciu (Damac), Razvan Marin (Cagliari), Alexandru Cicaldau (Konyaspor), Ianis Hagi (Rangers), Dennis Man (Parma), Valentin Mihaila (Parma), Marius Marin (Pisa), Darius Olaru (FCSB), Deian Sorescu (Gaziantep), Florinel Coman (FCSB), Adrian Sut (FCSB), Constantin Grameni (Farul Constanta)

Attackers: George Puscas (Genoa), Denis Alibec (Muaither), Denis Dragus (Standard Liege), Daniel Birligea (CFR Cluj)

While there may not be as many stand out star players, Romania do have quality in their side. At the back, former Genoa and current Tottenham centre-back Radu Dragusin will be tasked with keeping the likes of Romelu Lukaku quiet. Further forward, attacking midfielder Nicolae Stanciu had a decent season for Damac FC in the Saudi Pro League, grabbing six goals and seven assists in all competitions for the side. There will also be pressure on Rangers loanee Ianis Hagi to carry the famous name and the side. The 25-year-old midfielder spent the season on loan at Deportivo Alaves.

Out wide, Dennis Man is coming off of a very impressive Serie B campaign for Parma. The 25-year-old winger grabbed 11 goals and six assists in 32 matches for the club as they won the league ahead of Como. Another wide option for the side is Florinel Coman from FCSB. Coman had an excellent season in the domestic league, scoring 19 goals and grabbing 10 assists in 38 games.

Striker wise, head coach Eduard Iordanescu has a choice to make. During the two friendlies, both of which ended 0-0, he tried Denis Dragus and then George Puscas. Belgian fans will know all about Dragus from his time with Standard Liege, although he spent the 2023/2024 season on loan at Gaziantep. The 24-year-old had a great season for the side, scoring 14 goals in 32 games. Former Reading striker Puscas had a far less successful campaign with Bari in Serie B. On loan from Genoa, he managed four goals in 17 games. Puscas started the season in Serie A with Genoa but only played eight times without scoring.

Belgium and Romania clash in the second round of group matches on the 22nd of June.

The winner of Group E Will face the third best team from either Group A or Group B. Whoever finished second will face the second placed side from Group D, which will be one of France, the Netherlands, Poland or Austria.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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