Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Ludogorets Prediction, Lineups & Betting Tip
Hapoel Beer Sheva and Ludogorets Razgrad are set for one of the very balanced matchups in third qualifying round of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League. Both sides were involved in some high-scoring (over 2.5 goals in any occasion) affairs last round and they found a way into the next phase. And if both teams were the clear favourites against their opponents back then, now they must take advantage from their home matches. First round will take place at the “Turner Stadium” in Beersheba which promises really hot weather during match time. Can The Camels draw out any advantage out of these circumstances? Let’s find out in our comprehensive match preview and betting tip of an upcoming Champions League qualifier facing Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Ludogorets Razgrad.
Champions League: Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Ludogorets Razgrad 26.07.2017
Hapoel Beer Sheva returns in the Champions League as the Israeli champion maintained its domestic trophy and looks keen on a international breakthrough. The Camels already gained some European experience last year when they were close to reach the Champions League group stage after a dramatic playoff tie (2:5, 2:0) vs Celtic. Anyway, Hapoel Beer Sheva achieved its best international performance ever later on when The Camels eliminated Inter Milan and Southampton from the UEFA Europa League group stage but then lost to Besiktas in the 1/16 finals.
One year later Barak Bakhar’s men are heading back to the Champions League dream and they just eliminated Hungarian champion Budapest Honved by winning 5:3 on aggregate (2:1, 2:3).
Ludogorets travelled to the Israeli heat after a pleasing week on both fronts they had to defend. Head coach Georgi Dermendzhiev was under pressure after a surprising defeat in Lithuania but responded in a great fashion as Ludogorets made a full comeback from 0:1 to 4:1 last Wednesday. Thus Bulgarian champions have eliminated Zalgiris by 5:3 on aggregate and are once more aiming to the Champions League group stage.
Few days after victory over Zalgiris in Razgrad, Ludogorets played its first domestic league match when on Saturday night “Eagles” had a successful flight to Sofia against expected main title pretenders CSKA – 0:1. Moreover, that win came with some notable first-team rotations as Georgi Dermendzhiev rested key-players like Cosmin Moti, Svetoslav Dyakov, Wanderson, Marcelinho, Jonathan Cafu and Claudiu Keseru. Some of them came on from the bench in closing part of the game, while others were given a full rest.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Hosts from Israel must cope with some missing names and all of them will affect the attacking potential of Hapoel. Barak Bakhar must choose his formation without injured Ben Sahar, Isaac Cuenca, captain Elyaniv Barda remains a doubt, while Tomas Pekhart has just signed with the club. Most likely Mohammad Ghadir will be featured in the attacking trio alongside Maor Melikson and Nigerian forward Anthony Nwakaeme, who scored twice against Honved in Budapest.
Ludogorets, meanwhile, kept most of its main players and hopes to improve its overall formation. Argentine goalkeeper Jorge Broun is the only summer signing so far as he already leaves good impression and replaced Brazilian Renan who started in a frustrating 2-1 defeat to Zalgiris last round, while Vladislav Stoyanov is still injured.
All of the aforementioned names who were rested against CSKA are set to return in the starting squad but perhaps biggest controversy is about Jonathan Cafu’s form. Brazilian attacker has been linked with a potential transfer for months but his poor form and high transfer fee are most likely the reasons why Cafu remains in Razgrad. Nevertheless, he may get a chance to start at the expense of Vura (Virgil Misidjan) who scored the winning goal vs CSKA in Sofia.
Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Ludogorets Razgrad Prediction and Betting Tips
Hapoel Beer Sheva hopes to get a positive score prior second leg in Bulgaria and best possible outcome is surely a victory marked with a clean sheet. Despite all misses Barak Bakhar can still name a battle-worthy formation and the Israeli coach is absolutely aware of the defensive weakness at Ludogorets.
Ludogorets sold its key defender Jose Palomino to Italian Serie A side Atalanta and this leaves a gap at the back. Igor Plastun and Georgi Terziev are both centre-backs competing to start next to Cosmin Moti but at the same time Georgi Dermendzhiev is trying to find a new central defender.
Hapoel have been determined for favourites of the bookies but we sincerely believe Ludogorets feels better in these type of games when they’re not the side that has to dominate and eventually chase a mandatory success. That’s a good reason to pick and recommend the goal scoring markets and place a bet on “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Possible Lineups of Hapoel Beer Sheva and Ludogorets
Venue: “Turner Stadium”, Beer Sheva.
Referee: Charalambos Kalogeropoulos from Greece.
Hapoel Beer Sheva: Guy Haimov – Ben Bitton, Shir Tzedek, Miguel Vítor, Mihaly Korhut – John Ogu, Dan Einbinder, Maharan Radi – Maor Melikson, Anthony Nwakaeme, Mohammad Ghadir. (4-3-3)
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad: Jorge Broun – Lucas Sasha, Igor Plastun, Cosmin Moti, Natanael – Anicet, Svetoslav Dyakov – Jonathan Cafu, Marcelinho, Wanderson – Claudiu Keseru. (4-2-3-1)