Ludogorets vs Braga Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Betting Tips
Ludogorets vs Braga prediction ahead of Thursday’s Europa League fixture at the “Ludogorets Arena” in Razgrad. After the first half of the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League group phase these two clubs are topping the Group C standings, where Ludogorets have won seven points and Braga have six in three games. Read on what our betting experts have to say in a detailed match preview, predictions and free football tips.
H2H History: Ludogorets Razgrad vs SC Braga
Both sides have met for the very first time two weeks ago when Ludogorets surprisingly won 0:2 in Braga. Moreover, that was the first ever triumph of a Bulgarian club in Portugal and it came in the first ever encounter of Ludogorets with a Portuguese side. Besides, that was the first time Braga had faced Bulgarian opposition as well and they surely hope for a positive outcome in the second leg.
UEFA Europa League: Ludogorets Razgrad vs SC Braga 02.11.2017
“The Eagles from Razgrad” are now unbeaten in six European matches (W4 D2), and have won all four of their home fixtures in the ongoing campaign, scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding three. Seven of the 11 goals scored at home turf were under Georgi Dermendzhiev’s management but they were obviously not enough and Ludogorets couldn’t qualify to the Champions League group stage. However, Ludogorets has a greater chance to win its group in the Europa League and shows progress with every next week, being in one of the most competitive groups alongside Braga, Hoffenheim, and Istanbul Basaksehir. Dimitar Dimitrov improved the defensive line and Ludogorets has conceded one goal only after the first three Europa League group games – during a 2:1 home win over Hoffenheim. Thus Ludogorets boasts on the Group C peak, as well as on first position in the Bulgarian First League, where Dimitar Dimitrov’s men are with five points ahead CSKA Sofia and coming after another success over a major domestic rival in Levski Sofia’s face (winning 2:0 on Sunday night).
Braga’s home slip against Ludogorets has ended the club’s five-game winning streak in the UEFA Europa League. Nevertheless, “The Archbishops” yet remain in a comfortable position to claim one of the Round of 32 spots and will rely on their away form when travelling to Razgrad. Indeed, Braga have not lost any of their last five European games on the road, winning the last two, most recently 1:2 vs Hoffenheim on matchday one.
Braga found the right direction to bounce back in the Primeira Liga where Abel Ferreira’s men have won 1:0 in both games after losing to Ludogorets. These victories over Moreirense (away) and Chaves (home) will undoubtedly have a positive impact over the team, although Braga once again remains in shadow of the “Big Three” in Portugal, having won 21 points in 10 rounds. This places them on the fourth position, on two points behind Benfica (3rd), five from Sporting CP and with seven less to leaders Porto.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Braga arrived in Bulgaria with a 20-men group as Abel Ferreira picked the same squad used in last weekend’s victory over Chaves, plus a third goalkeeper – Ricardo Velho.
Abel Ferreira must serve a suspension himself so the 38-years-old coach won’t be able to lead his team from the touch line. There aren’t other suspensions in Braga but goalkeeper Marafona, centre-back Lazar Rosic, defensive midfielder Mauro are still injured.
Braga’s boss likes to rotate the squad and we won’t be surprised if there are some changes in the starting lineup, compared with the last domestic round. Central defender Ricardo Ferreira may receive another chance to start and same goes for João Teixeira, who failed to impress in the first leg. Fransergio, Xadas and Dyego Sousa are some other pretenders for first-team football, if Abel Ferreira decides to refresh the squad on more fields.
Ludogorets will be strengthened not only by the home advantage, but by fact that Virgil “Vura” Misidjan has renewed his contract and returned in selection, after being left out for some time. His availability increases the attacking options of Dimitar Dimitrov and Ludo’s coach may start with Misidjan as a false nine, like he did in the weekend success over Levski, where “Vura” scored one of the goals and that was his second successive league goal after returning into action. Misidjan’s pace can be extremely useful in that game where Ludogorets is expected to play without extra pressure and will try to benefit from its lethal counter-attacking ability. The attacking line built by players like Wanderson, Marcelinho, Jody Lukoki and Virgil Misidjan can be a tricky challenge for Braga’s defense, and their fast flow from defense to attack has proven to work very effectively in the time.
Dimitar Dimitrov has all key players in contention and the only injury is of the goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov, but that’s a long-term issue and Bulgarian coach can choose between two decent goalkeepers – Brazilian Renan, who made some good saves in the first leg, and his Argentine teammate Jorge Broun.
Ludogorets Razgrad vs SC Braga Prediction and Betting Tips
We have two betting predictions for the Europa League clash between Ludogorets Razgrad and Braga on Thursday night, 2 November 2017.
First, we will place a bet on “Both teams to score – Yes“. Braga knows what to expect this time and the Portuguese team has scored at least once in its last five European away games. They have also scored in 10 out of 11 away games this season and we expect them more concentrated in front of the goal, unlike the first meeting.
As for Ludogorets, we are sure that “The Eagles” have the potential to score again, especially at home. They have an upcoming clash against CSKA Sofia in the weekend, but their main focus falls over the European perspectives right now and let us remind that Dimitar Dimitrov remains undefeated after he signed with Ludogorets.
Our second betting tip is placed with a lower stake but on a greater value. We will place a bet on a draw (1X2 Betting) – a draw won’t be the best possible outcome for either side, but it won’t be that bad as well. Ludogorets and Braga can maintain their top-two status in the group, especially if Hoffenheim doesn’t win against Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey.
Possible Lineups of Ludogorets Razgrad and SC Braga
Venue: “Ludogorets Arena”, Razgrad.
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov from Russia.
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad: Renan – Natanael, Cosmin Moti, Igor Plastun, Cicinho – Jacek Goralski, Anicet – Wanderson, Marcelinho, Jody Lukoki – Virgil Misidjan. (4-2-3-1)
SC Braga: Matheus – Jefferson, Ricardo Ferreira, Raul Silva, Marcelo Goiano – João Teixeira, Nikola Vukcevic, Fransergio, Ricardo Esgaio – Paulinho, Ahmed Hassan. (4-4-2)