Though defeated twice without scoring in back-to-back Europa League Group A encounters with Roma, managerless CFR Cluj still have qualification in their own hands as they host already-eliminated CSKA Sofia.
The embattled Bulgarian side have yet to register a goal in the section and are stranded at the bottom of the group with only a solitary point to date.
Beaten 5-0 by the irrepressible group leaders in Rome and then 2-0 in Romania, CFR will nevertheless guarantee further progress alongside the Serie A side if they win their final two matches.
The second of them will be a visit to Switzerland's Young Boys, who have seven points from their four games - three more than Cluj. CSKA, with just one point, can no longer finish in the top two and will seek the small consolation of a first goal and first win of the campaign.
These clubs met on the opening night, which was CSKA Sofia's first European meeting with a club from Romania and likewise CFR's first encounter against Bulgarian opposition. The visitors won the game 2-0, with second-half goals from Mario Rondon and Ciprian Deac bringing them just their second ever away win in the Europa League proper.
However, their home record is altogether more impressive. CFR were unbeaten in seven European home games until they lost to Roma last time out and they won all three in last season's group stage - against Lazio (2-1), Rennes (1-0) and Celtic (2-0), before drawing 1-1 with Young Boys this year.
An unexpected 1-0 defeat against struggling Iasi in the Cupa Romaniei at the weekend was far from the ideal preparation for Thursday's critical clash though, and it turned out to be the final game for their beleaguered manager.
In the league, the Transylvanian club are third, some six points behind leaders FCSB, having compiled less than half the goal tally of their capital rivals at an unimpressive average of just over a goal per game.
So, with the losses racking up, manager Dan Petrescu belatedly fulfilled his promise to quit - made after the first Roma defeat. As the former Chelsea star - who has also coached in Russia, Qatar and China - departed on Monday, the club's hierarchy will be looking for an immediate reaction from the players.
This week's visitors CSKA are currently seeking some stability after coming through their own period of crisis. Following a sixth league draw of the season against modest Arda Kardzhali in October, the army club sacked their previous coach Steman Belchev, who was only appointed in July.
Their prospects have improved since the subsequent appointment of Bosnian coach Bruno Akrapovic, as they currently sit fourth in the league standings with 21 points from 12 games. After returning four draws and a defeat from the previous five rounds, the capital club have since managed to seal back-to-back domestic wins.
On Sunday they defeated their bitter rivals, disputed 'splinter club' CSKA 1948, to sit third in the league table - within touching distance of perpetual leaders Ludogorets.
That win will have pleased former West Ham and Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, who unexpectedly joined CSKA last month as their director of football. The Englishman left Dutch side ADO Den Haag after his contract was cancelled in April and took up his post with The Armymen having worked as a media pundit of late.
CSKA's victory at Basel in qualifying was the only one of their last six matches outside Bulgaria in which they have scored - their two Group A games on the road this term having resulted in a brave 0-0 draw at Roma and 3-0 defeat at Young Boys.
Somehow, Akrapovic and Pardew will have to produce a reverse in that trend if their new club is not to slip out of Europe without even a whimper. Meanwhile, with Petrescu now gone, Cluj know that nothing other than a bounce-back victory will do.
CFR Cluj Europa League form: WDLL
CFR Cluj form (all competitions): LLWLLL
CSKA Sofia Europa League form: LDLL
CSKA Sofia form (all competitions): WLWWLW
Former Porto midfielder Tiago Rodrigues will again man the engine room, though it is uncertain if 4-2-3-1 will be employed by Akrapovic or a back five, as in the defeat to Young Boys.
CFR Cluj possible starting lineup:
Balgradean; Susic, Manea, Burca, Camora; Itu, Dokovic; Rondon, Paun, Pereira; Debeljuh
CSKA Sofia possible starting lineup:
Busatto; Mazikou, Mattheij, Antov, Vion; Sankhare, Rodrigues; Penaranda, Yomov, Sinclair; Sowe
We say: CFR Cluj 1-1 CSKA Sofia
Neither side has inspired confidence in their opening Group A encounters, with Roma and Young Boys being far more impressive propositions.
CSKA can finally register a first goal to take a consolation point away from managerless Cluj, leaving the Romanian side in serious danger of sliding out of contention.