Our prediction for this Europa League match:
As expected, Ludogorets rolled over TNS in the Europa League third qualifying round, but the double-header against Maribor will be anything but a walk in the park for the Bulgarian champions. Ludogorets, who are leading the chase for the domestic trophy, are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against Maribor and we are positive that they are going to find the net in Thursday’s football match.
The Slovenian champions, on the other hand, failed to impress in the Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg, but seeing that they eliminated AIK earlier in the process, we believe that they are capable of matching Stoycho Stoev’s troops at Ludogorets Arena. A close encounter is on the horizon in Razgrad and we believe that there is a big value in betting on draw. When the two teams met in a friendly two years ago they played out a 2-2 draw.
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 (Maribor):
Founded in December 1960, Maribor are the most successful Slovenian club. The Violets won their 14th SNL trophy in 2017, with the team finishing the season 13 points clear of second-placed Gorica. Maribor are the only Slovenian club which made it to the UEFA Champions League group stages (2013/2014), but the likes of Chelsea, Schalke and Sporting Lisbon proved to be a big catch for the Slovenian champions.
The Violets collected only three points from possible 18 in the process and four years later they repeated the success, with the team eliminating Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Champions League play-offs. Maribor will face the likes of Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Liverpool in Group E. Speaking of the club’s main rivals, there have always been fireworks in clashes between Maribor and Olimpija Ljubljana.
The two teams face each other in the “Eternal derby” (Vecni derbi) and they represent the two biggest cities in Slovenia. Maribor are well known for their violet for their violet shirts with yellow stripes. Ljudski vrt is the club’s home ground.