Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets Prediction, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips
Ludogorets had a wonderful opportunity to secure its Round of 32 position in the past two Europa League rounds, but after two slips at home turf “The Eagles” from Razgrad are flying to Germany where Hoffenheim will be keen to leave their debut season in Europe with dignity. Hoffenheim have won just four points in five Europa League games and even though they don’t stand a chance to climb into one of the top two positions, the Germans are not those giving up without a resistance.
On the other hand, one point will be enough to qualify Ludogorets for the knockout phase but Bulgarian champions can even progress if they lose in Sinsheim, but in the meantime Braga must not lose their visit to Istanbul Basaksehir.
UEFA Europa League: Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets Razgrad 07.12.2017
Julian Nagelsmann can seize the last European game of Hoffenheim to field some players who don’t get enough first-team football in the Bundesliga. After a remarkable 4:0 win over RB Leipzig (2nd) on Saturday afternoon, Hoffenheim moved to the fifth position and thus reduced the gap between both sides to three points only. Now, in the upcoming weekend round, Hoffenheim can climb up into top four since there is a direct encounter facing Borussia M.Gladbach (4th) and Schalke 04 (3rd), while Julian Nagelsmann’s side will head to Hannover. In fact Hannover are one of the newly-promoted Bundesliga clubs this year and despite the defeats in the last few games, they’re still a solid enemy and Hoffenheim must prepare for a tricky challenge at the “HDI-Arena”.
That’s a good reason why Julian Nagelsmann will rest his key players on Thursday night and will probably submit a completely different lineup compared with the one used vs Leipzig.
Kevin Akpoguma is the only one unavailable for the home side as the young centre-back is not eligible for the UEFA competition.
Ludogorets made a full comeback to win 2:1 against Hoffenheim, but then drew with Braga and lost to Istanbul Basaksehir (both at home turf) in the last two UEFA Europa League rounds. Now Dimitar Dimitrov’s men hope to grab their last chance when visiting Sinsheim and their morale should be boosted by returning at the domestic league peak after a 2:0 victory over Dunav Ruse on Monday. Like Dimitrov said – “we scored the two goals (Marcelinho netted a brace) in the first half and then players were already thinking for Hoffenheim during the second half”.
“The Eagles” fly to Germany with full squad available and “Hero” (Dimitrov’s nickname) will probably choose the 4-2-3-1 formation with Virgil Misidjan playing as a false nine once again. Marcelinho will start behind the striker and Lukoki-Wanderson should push from both wings, while Jacek Goralski and Svetoslav Dyakov compete for a starting position in midfield.
Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets Prediction and Betting Tips
Ludogorets tried to be more cautious against Istanbul Basaksehir last time out, but obviously that wasn’t a successful approach and even players were not pleased with the head coach decision. Ludogorets showed a completely different football in the second half when Dimitar Dimitrov made some rotations in either selection and in the approach. However, we believe that Bulgarian champion won’t rush into a sudden attack from the outset but they won’t be fully focused over defending neither.
Final Prediction and Betting Tips
Hoffenheim’s players will have an only purpose to defend their own honour and to leave the competition with another victory, after the 3:1 vs Istanbul Basaksehir when they still have had a chance to go further in mid-October.
We expect open football by the home team and as much as we know the mentality of Ludogorets’ players, our betting experts fancy the goal scoring markets. Our betting prediction recommends “Both teams to score & Over 2.5 Goals“.
Our second betting tip suggests presence of the main man in Ludogorets’ approach – Marcelinho. The 33-years-old Brazilian joined Ludogorets from the beginning of their domestic superiority, in 2011, and already acquired Bulgarian citizenship which even earn him a few international caps. Anyway, we would highlight Marcelinho’s importance through the years he spends in Razgrad and the playmaker remains the most consistent Ludogorets player. Moreover, he scored five goals in the last 5 games he played, including the two goals of Ludogorets in their home games vs Braga and Istanbul Basaksehir. He hints to be in a fine form so we believe that currently suggested odds on Marcelinho as a potential Anytime Goalscorer are worth to place a small stake bet.
Possible Lineups of Hoffenheim and Ludogorets Razgrad
Venue: “Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena”, Sinsheim.
Referee: Orel Grinfeeld from Israel.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Gregor Kobel – Justin Hoogma, Ermin Bicakcic, Havard Nordtveit – Eugen Polanski – Felix Passlack, Robert Zulj, Johannes Bühler, Philipp Ochs – Meris Skenderovic, Robin Hack. (3-1-4-2)
Ludogorets Razgrad: Renan – Natanael, Cosmin Moti, Igor Plastun, Cicinho – Anicet, Jacek Goralski – Wanderson, Marcelinho, Jody Lukoki – Virgil Misidjan. (4-2-3-1)