Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Shamrock Rovers will be aiming to make a miracle in the tie with Ludogorets when the two teams face each other in Dublin on Tuesday evening. The Hoops need to overcome a three-goal deficit in the return leg, which is easier said than done. Fit-again forward Graham Burke is widely expected to return to the starting XI after coming from the bench in the 3-0 loss to Ludogorets.
The Bulgarian champions, on the other hand, proved their worth in the first leg, with the team moving one step closer to making it to the Champions League third qualifying round. Cyprus striker Pieros Sotiriou, who scored a brace in the first leg, is widely expected to return to the starting XI after he was rested in a 2-2 draw with CSKA Sofia at the weekend. Anyhow, the visitors would be happy with the share of spoils this time out.
Highlighted Player (Sergio Padt):
Sergio Padt is a Dutch footballer who plays for Eredivisie club Groningen as a goalkeeper. Padt played for the likes of Pancratius, Hoofddorp, and Ajax during his youth career, but he did not see any game action with the Amsterdammers at senior level.
Following short loan spells with the likes of Haarlem and Go Ahead Eagles, Sergio Padt signed a deal with Belgian outfit Gent in June, 2011. After making 55 appearances for the club in the Belgian top flight, the Dutch shot-stopper joined Groningen in the summer of 2014. Sergio Padt did remarkably well to win the KNVB Cup with the Green-White Army in the 2014/15 season, with the team beating PEC Zwolle in the title game.
The Groningen goalkeeper, who was born on June 6, 1990, has five caps for the Netherlands U-21 team. Speaking of his senior career, he received two call-ups for the national team, but has yet to make his debut.
Highlighted Team (Ludogorets):
Bulgarian football club PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, commonly referred to as Eagles, compete at the Ludogorets Arena with the capacity of 8,000. PFC Ludogorets Razgrad are owned by Kiril Domuschiev, who made it his personal goal to propel the club to domestic and international success and to hold up the Bulgarian flag high with nation’s biggest clubs Levski and CSKA going through turbulent times.
Having seen their stock rise astronomically since 2010, PFK Ludogorets Razgrad have become the first Bulgarian club to be features in the UEFA Champions League group stage twice. Previously, their maiden participation happened in 2014-15 season when the Bulgarian club made headlines due to notable results against FC Basel and Liverpool.
Their success on domestic scene has been equally impressive as PFC Ludogorets Razgrad remain the second team in the world to win a treble after being promoted from the second to the first league. Main force of the Bulgarian club are the Brazilian players, currently eight of them in the squad many of whom hold the Bulgarian citizenship.