Our match prediction:
Bulgarian side Ludogorets might look like a surprise to the inexperienced eye, but we are talking about a team which has made steady progress over the past decade and Champions League group stage inclusion is a well-deserved prize for Georgi Dermendzhiev’s men. Fitted with plenty of talented players and Brazilian flavour within their ranks, Ludogorets need to be taken seriously. Even though they are not among the favourites to make progress into the knockout stage, the Bulgarians will be looking to take a scalp or two in order to survive their European winter. Paris Saint-Germain need to tread carefully as Unai Emery’s men have demonstrated an erratic form early in the season. Their 3-1 loss to Monaco was followed by back-to-back draws against St Ettiene and Arsenal, and consecutive wins over Caen and Dijon were still not enough to improve the overall impression with Les Parisiens coming off from the 2-0 defeat at Toulouse. Emery is struggling to steady the ship and the following game in Bulgaria is of great importance both for the players and the manager himself.
Highligted Player (Vladislav Stoyanov):
Stoyanov is a Bulgarian goalkeeper playing for PFC Ludogorets Razgrad. The 29-year-old shot stopper is also a member of the Bulgarian national football team with his Cristiano Ronaldo penalty save in an unexpected 1-0 away friendly win over Portugal remaining the highlight of his international career so far. Stoyanov had previously saved another penalty from Real Madrid star in his team’s 2-1 loss to the reigning European champions in 2014. Stoyanov is an experienced goalkeeping veteran who has played for Naftex Burgas, Pomorie, Chernomorets and Sheriff Tiraspol before arriving in Razgrad in 2013. Stoyanov had a fairly successful three-year spell in Moldova, having won two Moldovan National Division titles and one Moldovan Cup.The 2014 Bulgarian Footballer of the Year, Vladislav Stoyanov has made over 90 league appearances for Ludogorets and will be one of the key members in his club’s UEFA Champions League campaign, also one of the rare Bulgarian players in this Brazilian-studded team.
Highlighted Team (Paris SG):
Formed by the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain in 1970, Paris Saint-Germain or as they call it PSG is the most successful club in French football with 31 domestic titles to their name. Having won six Ligue 1 title so far, a record ten Coupes de France, a record six Coupes de la Ligue, six Trophees des Champions and one Ligue 2 title, PSG are also one of only two French clubs to ever win a European title. Les Parisiens were crowned UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup champions back in 1995-96, while their last European trophy was the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Beginning of the new millennium was particularly hard for the celebrated club who flirted with relegation in 2000s before they were bought by the Quatar Sports Investments group in 2011 when the rebirth of the Paris Saint-Germain as we know it today began. Following heavy squad investments and team boosting, PSG won their first Ligue 1 title in 19 years with Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost singlehandedly leading his side towards the trophy with 30 goals. Having established domestic dominance, PSG now set their sights on winning the Champions League which remains an elusive dream for the club from Paris.