PFC Ludogorets Razgrad

V

Ludogorets Arena

15/02/2018 | 6:00 pm

AC Milan

V

Ludogorets Arena

15/02/2018 | 6:00 pm

In a sentence: Bulgarian league leaders Ludogorets host Milan in this week’s Europa League round of 32 action.

Last time: The two sides have yet to meet, with Milan spending little time in the Europa League and Ludogorets only forming in 2011/12.

This time: Ludogorets are 12/5 to win, Milan 11/10 and a draw 5/2.

You may remember: Milan’s Champions League victory back in 2007 when they were a dominant force in European football.

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Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

The 9,000 capacity Ludogorets Arena will host this Europa League knockout game

Following a miserable start to the season, Milan seem to have finally got themselves on track under Gennaro Gattuso. The Rossoneri are unbeaten in all competitions since before Christmas, but face a Ludogorets side that will be high on confidence due to their own fine domestic form.

Ludogorets are 12/5 to come out of Thursday’s match with a win, which given Milan’s most recent Europa League result – a 2-0 defeat to Rijeka – is not overly unreasonable. The Bulgarian side performed well in the group stages, with fan favourite Marcelinho starring.

Milan are 11/10 to win, and anything else would be considered a failure for the Italian side. Their recent 4-0 victory over SPAL shows how effective their attack can be against weaker opposition, and Gattuso is not the type of manager to allow his players to slack off.

A draw is 5/2, which may be likely if Gattuso decides to rest some of his senior players. Andre Silva, who has struggled domestically, may start, with Franck Kessie possibly making way for Manuel Locatelli.

Claudiu Keseru has led the line well for Ludogorets so far this term, with 10 league goals to his name. The Bulgarian striker has scored for his side against Arsenal in the past, and was last season’s top scorer in the First Professional Football League.

Andre Silva is 21/10 to find the net on Thursday, having made a rare substitute appearance at the weekend. Still very much considered to be the future of Milan’s front line, the emergence of Patrik Cutrone has pushed the Portugese striker out of favour, despite the six goals he has scored in the Europa League this season.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Milan’s right wing. Davide Calabria was in fine form for Milan before his red card against Udinese. The attacking full-back should be rested and raring to go against Ludogorets and will be a key offensive outlet. Calabria is 15/1 to score a rare goal on Thursday.

2

We fancy:

Milan to win 2-0 at 10/1. Milan are in great form at the moment and provided Gattuso fields a strong team, should have little difficulty overcoming Ludogorets.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Keseru to score twice or more at 18/1. The forward will be his side’s best hope, and Milan’s defence is still far from impenetrable.

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Written by Greg Murray

Greg Murray focused on watching football rather than playing it after realising he wasn’t going to be the next Gianfranco Zola. Writing prolifically on Italian football while keeping an eye on the game around the world, Greg has also turned his pen to the aviation industry and the betting market.