Ludogrets will take on Shakhtyor in the first round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers on 7th July at the Ludogorets Arena. The contest between the two will be the first leg of Round one for the last six spots in the mega event.
UEFA Champions League qualifiers: Team Preview
Ludogorets emerged as champions to secure their tenth Bulgarian League title and advance to the UEFA Champions League qualifications. They haven’t played any league matches in recent times but have featured in a few friendlies.
Ludogorets last appeared in the Champions League in 2016-17 and would be eyeing to make their way this time by delivering well in the qualifications.
Shakhtyor won their second title of Belarusian Premier League in 2020 to make their way into the qualifications of the UEFA Champions League. They are coming into this game after sufficient match time as they have played 14 league games in the Belarusian Premier League 2021-22.
Shakhtyor haven’t featured in the Champions League ever and would have their hopes high this time considering their recent form.
This will be the first meeting between Ludogorets and Shakhtyor.
Midfielder Alex Santana has been suspended from the first leg fixture and Shaquille Pinas is expected to make his debut for the side.
Shakhtyor are expected to start with the ideal line-up they have used in the Belarusian Premier League.
Probable Playing XI
Plamen Iliev; Jordan Ikoko, Georgi Terziev, Olivier Verdon, Anton Nedyalkov; Cauly, Claude Gonçalves, Stephane Badji, Dominik Yankov; Elvis Manu, Claudiu Keseru
Alyaksandr Hutar; Roman Begunov, Egor Filipenko, Nikola Antić, Igor Ivanovic; Yury Kendysh, Ihar Stasevich, Valon Ahmedi, Syarhey Palitsevich; Dembo Darboe, Roman Debelko
Shakhtyor are going through a great run recently as they are undefeated in their last seven games whereas Ludogorets will be playing on their home ground. Thus, we can expect a close contest between these sides with the match expected to end in a 2-2 draw.