CSKA Sofia vs Ludogorets Razgrad Prediction, Preview and Betting Tips
CSKA Sofia served its two-game ban with no spectators allowed and their fans will return on the stands in the best possible moment when “The Reds” are set to take on Ludogorets Razgrad in admittedly the most fascinating Bulgarian Cup quarter-final tie. The Thursday night clash at the “Stadion Balgarska Armia” in Sofia will wrap up the football year of both sides which will spend the winter break on the top two First League positions, where Ludogorets holds a one-point lead over CSKA. However, their Bulgarian Cup fixture is from a completely different nature as both CSKA Sofia and Ludogorets Razgrad are keen to lift the trophy. Read more about it in our detailed match preview, prediction and football betting tips.
First League: CSKA Sofia vs Ludogorets Razgrad 14.12.2017
CSKA Sofia and Ludogorets Razgrad are unquestionably the two most well-performing Bulgarian clubs nowadays, both having the best league indicators and also a comfortable advantage over third-placed Levski Sofia. Now their rivalry will be carried over in the domestic cup where “The Reds” will try to benefit from playing at home, but “The Eagles from Razgrad” are those who have gained a priceless European experience in the past few seasons and hold a convincing superiority when facing CSKA in Sofia. In fact, CSKA have yet to win a home match against Ludogorets as their two victories over “The Eagles” were in Razgrad, including a 2:1 in early-November, which will surely boost their confidence before the upcoming round.
Apart from their latest victory, which was only the second one of CSKA against Ludogorets in overall, Stamen Belchev’s men will be even more inspired from their four consecutive wins and the 6:0 over Beroe last Sunday in particular. Moreover, CSKA have kept a clean sheet in each one of them and remain unbeaten since 22 July when they lost 0:1 to Ludogorets at home. They have only 4 draws in 20 competitive games ever since but we must highlight they all were in the domestic competitions.
On the other hand Ludogorets sends another successful year despite the lost finals against Botev Plovdiv – Bulgarian Cup and the Super Cup, respectively. Nevertheless, Ludogorets won the Bulgarian League for the sixth successive season and extends its European journey as well. The Razgrad outfit was mostly dedicated to the accomplished UEFA Europa League breakthrough where Ludogorets took place in the Round of 32 draw for a second year in a row and will challenge AC Milan in February 2018. Besides, Ludogorets will winter on the First League’s peak which is a very pleasing outcome after all tough Europa League matches against strong sides like Braga, Istanbul Basaksehir and Hoffenheim, while their rivals were entirely focused over the domestic perspectives.
CSKA Sofia vs Ludogorets Prediction and Betting Tips
CSKA Sofia and Ludogorets are set for their third encounter in the 2017-18 season and to make things even more intriguing, this time both teams are fully committed to the game.
CSKA’s boss Stamen Belchev will expect more of the same football shown in Razgrad where his players were brilliant and even outplayed Ludogorets when they were down to 10 men, making a full comeback from 0:1 and scoring the winning goal after Fernando Karanga has been sent-off. Exactly Karanga is the main man under the spotlights as the Brazilian forward boasts with 17 goals scored in 18 league games, including a hat-trick vs Beroe last weekend. Other players who have a key contribution for CSKA’s good form are the attacking midfielder Tiago Rodrigues (8 goals, 10 assists) and winger Kiril Despodov, who scored in each of the last four matches.
Dimitar Dimitrov used the last league round on Monday to rest some first-team players who were engaged in the crucial draw against Hoffenheim last week, but even so Ludogorets secured the three points and won 2:0 when visiting Pirin in Blagoevgrad. Renan, Cosmin Moti, Cicinho, Natanael and Svetoslav Dyakov all did not play in that game, while Wanderson and Marcelinho took part in the closing part.
Vladislav Stoyanov still recovers after a long-term injury but Dimitar Dimitrov is not worried for the goalkeeping role as he can choose between Renan and Jorge Broun. The key midfielder Anicet Abel was involved in a car accident on Tuesday but he is fine and is expected to play from the outset.
Final conclusion and Betting Tip
We fancy the currently suggested betting odds for “Both teams to score – Yes” which are actually rising. CSKA are those who look more stable in defense but have some excellent offensive players who are all in-form. Furthermore, we all know about the attacking mentality of Ludogorets and their fast forwards, so we can definitely expect at least one goal scored by both teams here.
Possible Lineups of CSKA Sofia and Ludogorets Razgrad
Venue: “Stadion Balgarska Armia”, Sofia.
Referee: Georgi Kabakov.
CSKA Sofia: Vytautas Cerniauskas – Stanislav Manolev, Nikolay Bodurov, Alexandre Barthe, Anton Nedyalkov – Raoul Loe, Kristiyan Malinov – Kiril Despodov, Tiago Rodrigues, Henrique – Fernando Karanga. (4-2-3-1)
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad: Renan – Natanael, Cosmin Moti, Igor Plastun, Cicinho – Svetoslav Dyakov, Anicet – Wanderson, Marcelinho, Jody Lukoki – Virgil Misidjan. (4-2-3-1)