Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After failing to beat ten-man Maribor in Razgrad in the first leg of the Europa League play-offs, Ludogorets will be looking to give fans some cheer when they face the Slovenian champions at Stadion Ljudski vrt on Thursday evening. The Bulgarians are still considered favourites to win this two-legged, but a close encounter is on the cards at Maribor’s home ground.
The hosts will be without suspended midfielder Dino Hotic in the second leg, but seeing that they are tough to beat at home, we predict that the Violets will once again hold Ludogorets to a draw. Both teams are likely to adopt a cautious approach in Thursday’s football match, therefore, we believe that the winner will be decided after extra-time. You should bear in mind that Maribor managed to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous six home games in the Europa League.
Highlighted Player (Luka Zahovic):
Luka Zahovic is the son of legendary Slovenian footballer Zlatko Zahovic. Luka Zahovic played for the likes of Valencia, Benfica and Pobrezje during his youth career before joining Maribor in 2009. The talented attacker, who was born in Guimaraes, Portugal on November 15, 1995, scored 13 goals in 45 appearances for Slovenian side in the national championship and in 2015 he moved to Netherlands, signing a three-year-old deal with Heerenveen.
In August, 2016, he returned to Maribor, signing a loan deal with his boyhood club and in May, 2017 he signed a permanent deal with the Violets. Speaking of his international career, Luka Zahovic represented Slovenia U17 at the 2012 European Championship and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 3-1 defeat to Netherlands.
Unlike his father, Luka’s preferred foot is right. His main position is centre-forward, but he is used as a secondary striker as well. Luka Zahovic has a deal with Maribor which should expire on May 31, 2020.
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.