Ludogorets Razgrad vs Sutjeska Niksic preview – prediction, team news, line-ups

Sports Mole preview Tuesday’s Champions League clash between Ludogorets Razgrad and Sutjeska Niksic, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Ludogorets Razgrad will try to secure an advantage in the first leg when they play Sutjeska Niksic in the first leg of theirs Champions League Competition of the first qualifying round on Tuesday evening.

The home side, who played in the Europa League group stage last season, are reigning Bulgarian champions, while Sutjeska last season became Montenegrin top-flight champions for the fifth time.

game preview

Kiril Despodov of Ludogorets Razgrad pictured in December 2020©Reuters

Ludogorets secured their place in the first qualifying round of the Champions League after winning the Bulgarian top flight for the 11th time in their history last season.

The Eagles played in the group stage of the 2014–15 Champions League, facing Real Madrid, Basel and Liverpool while also reaching the group stage of the 2016–17 competition.

Last season, Ludogorets made it to the playoff round to reach the group stage of the European Cup, but lost 3-2 on aggregate to Malmo, causing them to be relegated to the Europa League and finishing fourth in a group to do so also included Braga, Red Star Belgrade and FC Midtjylland.

Ante SimundzaThe side will be confident of surviving this two-legged affair and will face both Shamrock Rovers of Hibernians in the second qualifying round should Sutjeska be defeated.

Ludogorets have played four friendlies this summer in preparation for their return to competition, the last being a 3-0 win over Nuremberg on June 26 but a day before they were beaten 3-0 by Ferencvaros.

Sutjeska, on the other hand, have never played in the Champions League group stage so it would be a huge shock if they manage to make it through all the qualifying rounds.

Last season, the Blue and Whites were eliminated in the second qualifying round of the Europa Conference League, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Sutjeska were also eliminated in the first qualifying round of the 2020-21 Europa League, but they managed to secure a spot at this stage of the Champions League, winning the 2021-22 Montenegrin First League and finishing with 75 points from their 36 Matches.

Milija SavovicThe side are certainly the underdogs going into the two-legged affair with Ludogorets, but a positive result in the first leg of the competition would give them confidence for the second leg on 12 July.

Ludogorets Razgrad Form (all competitions):

Sutjeska Niksic Form (all competitions):

Team News

Ludogorets have no confirmed injury problems going into this game, although head coach Simundza needs to assess his players’ fitness ahead of kick-off here.

The Bulgaria side begin their league season on July 8 against Septemvri Sofia, with this two-legged affair taking place on either side of their first domestic game of the 2022-23 season.

However, Ludogorets will have their strongest available XI on the field for this game Pieros Sotiriou Set to lead the line for the home team with support from Bernhard Tekpetey and Kiril Despodov in the vastness.

Sutjeska also has no new injury worries ahead of this game and can fully focus on the two-legged team as their league season doesn’t start until July 23.

The visitors have played three friendlies this summer and head coach Savovic needs to ensure his key players are fully fit to take to the field here.

Vladan Giljen is supposed to start between the posts for Sutjeska while Julijan Nenov could play alongside other newcomers Tyrone Conrad in a front two.

Ludogorets Razgrad possible starting line-up:
Padt; Cicinho, Nedyalkov, Plastun, Verdon; Show, Goncalves; tekpetey; Yankov, Despodov; Sotiriou

Sutjeska Niksic possible starting line-up:
Giljen; Vlahovic, Babic, Rudovic; Grivic, Alharaish, Pajovic, Erakovic, Knezevic; Nenov, Conrad

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We say: Ludogorets Razgrad 2-1 Sutjeska Niksic

Sutjeska is certainly capable of providing Ludogoret’s awkward 90 minutes, but we find it difficult to bet on anything other than a home win in the first leg and the Bulgarian side should end up having too much quality over the two games.

For data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.

top tip

Our expert tipster partners at predict under 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their football best tips.Under 3.5:Data

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