Ludogorets vs Crvena zvezda

Ludogorets didn't have much of resistance in the second qualifying round for Champions League, when the team outplayed Montenegrin champions from Mladost with a comfortable qualifying for the next phase and aggregate 5:0 result. First game in Bulgaria ended as a 2:0 victory for them, while the team didn't want to risk a lot in the returning leg and at first took a bit more cautious approach at first.

However, as the game progressed, they actually made an excellent appearance as the team started playing more relaxed once they scored the first goal and ended up winning it with an easy 3:0 score. It seems that they have progressed further without much of energy spent, while now the level of opponent rises with Crvena zvezda, but the Bulgarians still remain favorite for the first leg. Their national domestic league starts this weekend with a game against Beroe, so it's expected that the team is close to their full form.

Home side coach has Dutch striker Misidjan (17/2) as doubtful for this match, while newly signed midfielder Campanharo didn't get his papers from Brazil on time and isn't registered for this one.

Crvena zvezda, on the other side, didn't have that easy task in the second qualifying round when the team took over Valletta from Malta and won with a 4:2 aggregate result. Even though they had some problems in both matches, it seemed like that the team has more potential than what they shown and managed to respond at difficult times in both games, since they were in both leg down 1:0 from early phase of the match.

With two 2:1 victories, nobody looked really satisfied, but what counts for now is that they progressed, but knowing that much more difficult opponent is now ahead of them. The team will need to show rapid improvement, especially in the defense, in case they want to claim the qualification for the play-off round. Last weekend their domestic league has started and the side took only a point in a 2:2 draw at home against newly promoted Napredak, once again staying back in the scoreline first, this time even being 2:0 down at the start of second halftime.

Seemingly an easy task was the Red Star on the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League where he met towards Valletta Malta. Can he qualify, but it was quite hard way. Away in the first match was left behind in the score to turn against the state in the last minute and get the victory 2-1. In the rematch he struggled again to again prevail 2-1 and thus lock the qualification.

Midfielder Babunski (1/0) will not be playing here, while striker Orlandic remains long term absentee. Both without much of impact on their game anyway.

Ludogorets remains slight favorite for this one, however I'll skip betting on the final outcome here. Goals is what I expected, from both sides actually since the Serbian side didn't show anything close to reliable in defense, while they both remain with capable offensive lines.

Bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.36 with Marathonbet
Result: 2-2 (won)
 * Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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  1. Beny says:

    Ludo will win here

  2. BetMan says:

    Hi DamirJ

    I posed the question below to one of your fellow countrymen (Dzigy) who also had a preview for this game, but I’ll ask you the same as I can’t be sure he get to read it since it’s a later post from me (and I hadn’t noticed before now that your also are Serbian), so here it goes:

    As you are from Serbia, you know a lot more about this league than I. Last year Crvena Zvezda were totally dominant in the Serbian league but they seem to have lost momentum. Why is that? Have they sold key players, do they have injuries or what is going on? Keen to know as they were a safe bet on many occasions last year and this may have changed. Who do you expect to win the league this year – them or Partizan or some third team?

  3. ljuba says:

    Damir, you think Ludogorets can score 3 here? I’m not so sure. This is pretty much 1:0 HT, 2:0 FT.

  4. DamirJ says:

    Hello BetMan,

    Nice to see you here. As for the questions:

    Crvena zvezda’s coach Bozovic is known for the fact that his teams are entering the form slowly at the start of the season and this is probably the biggest puzzle for now. If you look at the previous season, the team started the league with a victory and two draws in first three rounds and then went on to have 25 victories in a row or whatever number was it. Just made a small research, they were also losing at the start of previous season in 4 out of their first 5 matches. This is remarkably similar to the start of this season. Everyone in the club knows it and they are surely not worried about the current momentum, especially not if we are talking about the draw against Napredak in domestic league. All their eyes are set on European matches for now only, that’s for sure. So, for me, it’s just a matter of time when the players will start “clicking together” and we’ll have similar run as in previous season, at least for Serbian standards.

    But as for the match against Ludogorets, it remains unpredictable… Most of the punters have in mind that Ludogorets kicked out Partizan twice in last few years, so they now tend to think, okay, they’ll kick Crvena zvezda too. Maybe, but, in both clashes against Partizan, it could be easily said that “less bad” team progressed, progressing last time without a victory, only on away goal rule. For sure I expect Zvezda during the season to have peak of their form (during Autumn probably) when I would gladly back them against Ludogorets… but now, huge question mark what could happen.

    Having said that, I have no doubts that they’ll win the title again. There’s just too many things working in their favor for this season, football-wise and non-football. No important player have left the team, unlike in comparison to many previous season, they are all together and have been boosted with couple of really decent signings for Serbian standards (but who’ll need time to start playing well). For example, signed player from Palmeiras who is in his best age (28) with five caps for Argentina and two goals scored it’s not something we had a chance to witness in Serbia in previous years. This team is made to “do something” in Europe, but whether matches with Ludogorets come too early for them, no idea.

    Team should be reasonably stronger than in the previous season, Partizan is way off this time. They miss plenty of things in order to be better on the long term during the season, similar to previous season.

  5. DamirJ says:

    Hello, didn’t base the bet on the fact that Ludogorets is that better. They can score three, but I based it on the fact that both will score and we’ll have more open game than the bookies represent. Wouldn’t touch the bet that Ludogorets alone scores three or more :)

  6. pantelija says:

    Best player of red star last season were Grujic and Katai and Grujic left the club…sold to Liverpool…and for the rest of the team and the newcomers ,they are all class bellow the Ludogorets level exept maybe that left back …Odds are most welcome here and it would be huge surprise for Ludogorets to not go into next round …Ludogorets will score probably more that 2 goals…Here in Serbia exept some crazy Redstar all are convicted in Ludo win…

  7. DamirJ says:

    Grujic was sold back in January, right? Nobody planned him for this season, he can’t be taken as absentee anywhere.

  8. Vincent says:

    Nice Pick DamirJ Thanks you :)

  9. BetMan says:

    Thanks a lot, DamirJ, for a comprehensive answer – very useful information! And congrats on a valuable tip/preview which paid off greatly. ;-)

  10. DamirJ says:

    No problem, glad to help.

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