Ludogorets Razgrad welcome Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb to Bulgaria on Tuesday, as they continue their quest for a spot in the Champions League group stage.
The sides begin their third qualifying round tie with the winners ftaer next week’s second leg progressing to the playoff round, while the losers will drop into the Europa League.
Though their unbeaten start to Champions League qualifying came to an end last week after losing to Shamrock Rovers, a 4-2 aggregate victory in the second round saw Ludogorets through to the second last stage of the process.
The defeat against Shamrock has been their only reverse since returning to competitive action at the start of June, just weeks after securing an 11th straight domestic title.
Ludogorets have been in league action already this summer, and a total of 10 points from their opening four First League matches places them top of the table on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Dinamo Zagreb have passed a similar path of their latest Champions League opponents during July, recording three wins from three to take maximum points in the 1. HNL.
The 4-1 victory over Istra on Friday was Dinamo’s fourth from five matches since lifting the Croatian Super Cup on penalties last month, and their only draw came against Macedonia’s Shkupi in continental competition.
Following a 2-2 draw in the home leg of their second round tie, the stage at which they entered the competition, they then edged through by virtue of a 1-0 victory in Skopje.
Arijan Ademi scored the only goal early in the second half, having found the net back in Zagreb as well, as the Croatian champions took the first step on another European campaign in an era of relative success for the club, having reached the Europa League quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 two years previously.
Ludogorets Razgrad vs Dinamo Zagreb head to head
The two teams have previously met on just four occasions in the Champions and Europa League, where Ludogorets have claimed two victories while Dinamo Zagreb have won one, and they have drawn once. Ludogorets have scored eight goals and conceded five. Ludogorets claimed a 2-1 away win in their last meetings.
Ludogorets 1-1 Dinamo Zagreb 18/07/12
Dinamo Zagreb 3-2 Ludogorets 25/07/12
Ludogorets 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb 03/10/13
Dinamo Zagreb 1-2 Ludogorets 12/12/13
Ludogorets Razgrad latest home form
Ludogorets have recently been on an impressive run of form at home, having won each of their 10 most recent matches. They managed to defeat Spartak Varna 5-0 in their last home game in the First League. In their last five matches, they have scored 15 goals and kept clean sheets.
Ludogorets 3-0 Nurnberg 26/06/22
Ludogorets 2-0 Sutjeska 05/07/22
Ludogorets 2-0 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 15/07/22
Ludogorets 3-0 Shamrock Rovers 19/07/22
Ludogorets 5-0 Spartak Varna 29/07/22
Ludogorets Razgrad latest away form
Ludogorets have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having won just two of their five most recent matches. They lost 2-1 to Shamrock Rovers in their last away game in the Champions League. In their last five matches, they have scored seven goals and conceded seven.
Ferencvaros 3-0 Ludogorets 25/06/22
Septemvri Sofia 0-3 Ludogorets 08/07/22
Sutjeska 0-1 Ludogorets 12/07/22
CSKA 1948 Sofia 2-2 Ludogorets 22/07/22
Shamrock Rovers 2-1 Ludogorets 26/07/22
Dinamo Zagreb latest home form
Dinamo Zagreb have recently been on a good run of form at home, and have been unbeaten in their five most recent matches. They managed to defeat Istra 1961 4-1 in their last home game in the HNL. In their last five matches, they have scored 14 goals and conceded six.
Dinamo Zagreb5-1 Arsenal Tivat 06/07/22
Dinamo Zagreb (P)0-0 Hajduk Split 09/07/22
Dinamo Zagreb 3-2 Lokomotiva Zagreb 15/07/22
Dinamo Zagreb 2-2 Shkupi 19/07/22
Dinamo Zagreb 4-1 Istra 1961 29/07/22
Dinamo Zagreb latest away form
Dinamo Zagreb have recently been on a good run of form on the road, having been unbeaten in their five most recent matches. They managed to defeat Shkupi 1-0 in their last away game in the Champions League. In their last five matches, they have scored 10 goals and conceded two.
HNK Gorica 0-1 Dinamo Zagreb 24/04/22
Lokomotiva Zagreb 1-1 Dinamo Zagreb 01/05/22
Sibenik 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb 15/05/22
Slaven Koprivnica 1-5 Dinamo Zagreb 23/07/22
Shkupi 0-1 Dinamo Zagreb 26/07/22
Ludogorets Razgrad news
Kiril Despodov and captain Anton Nedyalkov are both set to start on Tuesday, while Brazil-born Cicinho should again feature at right-back in a probale 4-3-3 formation.
Manuel Cafumana is suspended following his red card at Tallaght Stadium last week, but Cypriot striker Pieros Sotiriou is likely to start up front.
Dinamo Zagreb news
Dinamo Zagreb have strengthened their options over the summer, signing ex-Atalanta defender Bosko Sutalo and Swiss forward Josip Drmic.
Sutalo will hope to displace either Dino Peric and Rasmus Lauritsen in the back four, while fellow defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine remains a doubt due to injury, with Sadegh Moharrami starting as right-back.
Prediction and Odds
Both teams will certainly find it easy in front of goal and will be comfortable taking the initiative, so this looks to be a balance tie on paper.
Although Ludogorets’ 5-0 victory last time out will make them feel confident, Dinamo Zagreb may prove a tough team to beat, leading us to predict a draw.
Odds: 1 2.15 X 2.05 2 2.22
Ludogorets 1-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Ludogorets 2-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Ludogorets 3-3 Dinamo Zagreb
Ludogorets 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Ludogorets 3-2 Dinamo Zagreb