Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Ludogorets and Antwerp face each other in a highly-anticipated game at Huvepharma Arena in what is expected to be a very entertaining game. Ludogorets have been playing an important role in European competitions in recent years, but it has to be noted that they are not as sharp as they were a couple of seasons ago. The Greens are a real force to be reckoned with at home, but Thursday’s football match will be anything but a walk in the park for them.
A man to keep an eye on in the home side will be Romania international Keseru, who has been in a fine form at the start of the new Bulgarian championship. The Belgians, on the other hand, have been scoring goals for fun in the Jupiler League of late, meaning that a lively contest is on the cards in Razgrad. Since both sides are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach in Thursday’s game, we are tempted to put our money on both teams to score.
Highlighted 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 (Antwerp):
Founded back in 1880, Antwerp is one of the oldest clubs in Belgium. The Great Old welcome their rivals at Bosuilstadion, the venue with the capacity of 16,144 people. Antwerp are well known for their red home kits, with the team wearing white shirts and white jerseys when playing on the travels.
Over the years Antwerp have been trying to close the gap between Belgian giants Anderlecht and Club Brugge, but they have yet to win the title in the recent history. The Great Old clinched their first domestic trophy back in 1929, with the team repeating the success two years later. The third and the fourth titles came in 1944 and 1957 respectively.
Beerschot A.C. are considered the club’s fiercest rivals, but they have a rivalry with Club Brugge as well. The club chiefs had a long-term partnership with famous English club Manchester United in the past, with Antwerp taking young footballers on loan to Old Trafford.