Ludogorets hosts Lithuanian champion Zalgiris in a playoff for entry into the Europa League groups. The meeting is today at 20:45 at “Huvepharma Arena” and will be broadcast live on DIEMA SPORT 3. On the Gong.bg website we will follow the most interesting of the meeting.
The task before the “Eagles” to enter the groups of the Champions League for another year was not fulfilled and now the team of Ante Shimunja will have to settle for the group stage of the Europa League in case of success over the Lithuanians or that of the Conference League – in case of failure. Since the 2017/18 season, the people of Razgrad have invariably played in the groups of the second strongest European club tournament and will now be chasing a sixth consecutive participation.
For Zalgiris to reach this stage is a remarkable success, considering that the team knocked out CFR Cluj and Malmö in the Champions League qualifiers before being knocked out by Budjo/Glimt. Ludogorets coped with far more unpretentious opponents. Razgrad first eliminated Sutieska and then Shamrock Rovers to make it two defeats against Dinamo Zagreb.
The home boss has a host of personnel issues ahead of today’s match. The participation of Claude Gonsalves and Cowley in the match will be decided at the last minute. The two are progressing in their recovery, but the chances of playing are not particularly high. Rick Jonathan, Jean Karnicnik and Dominic Yankov are out due to suspensions.
Sergio Padt was also nursing an injury but should be under the goal post. Sisinho, Igor Plastun, Olivier Verdon and Anton Nedyalkov will play in front of him. Shaw and Jakub Piotrovski will be in the midfield. Spas Delev and Bernard Tekpetei will most likely attack on the wings, and it will not be a surprise if Kiril Despodov plays behind the striker Igor Tiago.
Zalgiris coach Vladimir Cheburin will also not be able to rely on three players due to suspensions. Mamic, Kieremeh and Bopesu are out for today’s match.
The two teams played against each other in the 2017/18 season in the Champions League qualifiers. Then Zalgiris won 2:1 at home, but Ludogorets won 4:1 in Razgrad.