Ludogorets’ home dominance should have Liverpool fearing European exit

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Liverpool travel to Bulgaria to face Ludogorets knowing they must avoid defeat to keep their Champions League heart from arresting. The only problem is their opponents are in exactly the same position and are pretty good at home.

If Brendan Rodgers’ side learned anything from their last-gasp win over their matchweek five opponents at Anfield, it’s that the supposed minnows of Group B do not roll over like a dog performing for a treat.

It only took a late Steven Gerrard penalty to overcome the Bulgarians in the first encounter and since then, it has been Ludogorets who have impressed more in the competition rather than this vaunted Liverpool side.

A win against Basel at home last time out means the Stoycho Stoev-managed side are level on points with the Merseysiders with two games left to play, one of which is against Real Madrid meaning a win against Liverpool is vital.

They should feel confident of achieving their goal considering it has only been the Spanish Champions League holders that have visited the Ludogorets Arena this season and emerged victorious, and even then they fell behind.

Madrid are also the only team to score more than once against the Eagles this term, with only three of the other 12 visitors to the ground actually managing to score at all.

Liverpool haven’t found the back of the net in Europe in any game bar the one they triumphed in against these opponents some weeks ago and the current attacking state they travel to Bulgaria in does little to swell the confidence that the situation will change.

Only two teams, Partizan Belgrade and Slavia Sofia, have stopped the men in green from finding the back of the net in club’s 13 home games so far and with Liverpool’s known fragility at the back unlikely to cure itself overnight, this could end up as a famous victory for Bulgarian football at huge 3/1 odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.