Ludogorets vs Leverkusen

Ludogorets host Leverkusen in their first match in EL group A.

Ludogorets made impressive performances in CL and EL in the previous seasons and a lot of experts guess this season they have real chances to progress in a group with Leverkusen, AEK Larnaka and Zurich and for me it's not impossible, but it can happen much harder than expected. Why? Because of the new coach! Most of the players, the boss, etc. have said he is such a good and clever coach, behaves absolutely proffesional, but sometimes I see a team absolutely unorganized in attack. It didn't happen only in the last match against Vereya in the domestic league. It's just hard for the team to score more than a single goal per match, especially in the beginning of the season. In 17 matches since the start of the season they have 11 with one or nill scored goals and results like 1:0, 0:1, 1:1 were very often. In CL games first they prevailed over the amateur Northern Ireland club Crusaders, but then MOL Vidi did the same, so they continued in EL. Against Zrinjski Mostar they have a lot of problems beating them 2:1 on aggregate, but in their last step they did a great job beating Torpedo Kutaisi 5:0 in both games. OK, this 4:0 home win was their best match without a doubt under Autuori, but Leverkusen is not Torpedo, such a result is not real in the group stages against German opponent.

Both coaches knows the starting line-ups for sure, because they want the three points and will use the best they have in the opening match. Ludogorets sold one of their attacking players Misidjan to Nurnberg, so it's more than sure they will start with Keseru, Lukoki and Wanderson in attacking positions, while in midfield will use Campagnaro, Dyakov and Marcelinho. Without Abel Anicet in midfield they still don't have a lot of options. Campagnaro is one of the favourite Autuori players and he relies on him instead of Lukas Sasha. Marcelinho was used for so many years as attacking midfielder, but it's obvious Autuori uses him much more as a playmaker in back position. Ludogorets is absolutely predictable team and that's their biggest problem in the recent two or three years. They bought a few new players in midfield and attack, but it's impossble any of them to start tomorrow. In defense everything is also clear- Cicinho, Forster, Moti and Natanael are going to start, while Nedyalkov will be the main substitution. Renan will be the GK. This will be the starting line-up if it doesn't happen an injury in the last moments with any of the main players.

On the other side Bayer Leverkusen started very weak the new season with three losses, but they didn't look so bad in most of them. They created chances in their first two games they lost against Wolfsburg and Gladbach, but couldn't use most of them. Against Bayern in Munich it was easy to predict they will lose for the third time in a row, but strangely or not they opened the score. They didn't look poor on the pitch, although Bayern equalized and took the lead a few minutes they were back in the result. So, Heiko Herrlich is very close to be sacked if the situation in the club doesn't calm down and the positive results finally come. What will be their main advantage- it's the midfield. With players like Havertz, Bender and Julian Brandt they can easily dominate over Campagnaro, Dyakov and Marcelinho. When we add a few fast players like Leon Bailey and Karim Bellarabi+ Volland I see Ludogorets defense to have a lot of troubles tomorrow. These players are absolutely enough to cause Ludogorets a lot of problems even without a few injured players like Retsos, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger abd Pohjanpalo.

To sum up, whan I saw the group I thought Leverkusen are the main favourite, while Ludogorets and AEK Larnaka will fight for the 2nd place. One thing made me think twice about this home game and what prediction to give and it's not Leverkusen need the win maybe to save their coach, because a loss in Razgrad will mean sacking almost for sure. The main thing is the confidence some of the players and the coaching staff have before the match that they can take not only a positive result, but also the win. Man, you play against the main favourite when both teams are hungry for the max points. Our team is absolutely predictable as formation and starting line-up. I can't forget one of our home games during the last season when Ludogorets faced Basaksehir and lost 1:2. They were the only team in comparison with Braga and Hoffenheim which came in Bulgaria absolutely concentrated and just outplayed us, especially in the 1st half with solid performances in midfield and on the flangs. In Bayer I see similar team and strenghts which can cause the same problems if we didn't take the notes.

I am not an optimist Ludogorets will start in fashion with a win tomorrow. Most of the things are in Leverkusen favour- better and more expensive players looking for the first season win and the confidence Ludogorets have before the game make me worry about the final outcome. I am going with the visitors here. Don't look at my negative balance for the month here, just want to help you with this pick and some extra info.

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Ludogorets vs Leverkusen prediction

Tip Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
Leverkusen Bet365 2.45 9 2-3 WON (+13.05 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
+33 -15
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