Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Ludogorets and Espanyol face each other at Ludogorets Arena in what is expected to be one of the most entertaining games of Thursday’s program. Ludogorets have been impressive in both Premier League and the Europa League this season and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against Espanyol.
Los Periquitos, on the other hand, did well to beat CSKA Moscow 2-0 on the road in their second group game, but given Ludogorets’ thrilling form, the La Liga side would be happy with one point from Thursday’s football match. Espanyol are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach against the Bulgarian champions and seeing that the hosts would be happy with one point from the game as well, share of spoils is on the horizon. It has to be noted that the two teams have never met before in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Stephane Badji):
Stephane Badji was born on 29 May, 1990 in Ziguinchor, Senegal and he began his youth career at Ecole de football Mamadou Faye. The 180-cm-tall midfielder moved to Norway in 2012 and he played for Sogndal in the 2012/2013 Tippeligaen campaign.
On 1 March he joined fellow Norwegian club Brann and it has to be noted that he made 49 league appearances with the club from 2013 to 2015. After spending the first half of the 2015/2016 season at Istanbul Basaksehir, he signed a contract with Anderlecht in 2016 and he has been playing for the Belgian outfit ever since.
Badji has seven caps for Senegal U23 team and he made his debut for the first team on 29 February, 2012, coming as a substitute 20 minutes before the final whistle. The Anderlecht footballer is capable of playing as both central and a right midfielder. His contract with Anderlecht expires on 1 February, 2016. The player’s agents are Mondial Promotion.
Highlighted Team (Espanyol):
Espanyol are a Catalan club that plays in Spanish La Liga. Espanyol were founded in 1900 and their original name was Sociedad Espanola de Football. In 1901 the Catalan club changed its name to Club Espanol de Futbol. Los Periquitos used to play in bright yellow shirts in the past, but current colour of the team’s home kit is blue and white.
Espanyol’s fiercest rivals are Barcelona and the two teams face each other in the Catalan derby (Derbi barceloni). Espanyol have always been in Barca’s shadow, but it has to be noted that los Periquitos have won four Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup trophies).
The likes of Raul Tamudo, Jose Maria, Antonio Argiles and Mauricio Pochettino are players with most appearances for the Catalan outfit. Espanyol play their home games at Estadio Cornella-El Prat and the capacity of the stadium is 40,500. Los Periquitos have never participated in the Champions League.