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Champions League | First Qualifying Round | 1st Leg
Jul 10, 2024 at 7pm UK
Huvepharma Arena (Razgrad)

3 - 1
Dinamo Batumi

Tekpetey (13'), Rick (24'), Fonn Witry (72')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Mamuchashvili (62')
Santos (32'), Kharabadze (45+1'), Ghudushauri (85')

Preview: Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Dinamo Batumi - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Ludogorets Razgrad and Dinamo Batumi, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ludogorets Razgrad are set to face Dinamo Batumi at the Huvepharma Arena on Wednesday in the first of their two-legged showdown in the first round of Champions League qualifying.

The hosts have qualified for the Champions League group stage on two occasions, while the visitors lost in the first round of their only previous attempt at qualifying for the competition.

Match preview

Ludogorets Razgrad coach Georgi Dermendzhiev before the match on February 15, 2024© Reuters

The 2014-15 season saw Ludogorets become just the second Bulgarian side team to enter the Champions League group stages and just two years later, in 2016-17, they became the first Bulgarian team to qualify for the group stage on two occasions, both times under the management of Georgi Dermendzhiev.

Following the unprecedented 7-1 defeat to FC Nordsjaelland in the Europa Conference League, the biggest loss in Europe in the club's history, which led to the resignation of the entire management and sports technical staff, the legendary manager Dermendzhiev returned to the club in October 2023.

Dermendzhiev managed to successfully guide the team to their 13th consecutive Bulgarian league title and will now be looking to create further history with the team by securing qualification to the Champions League group stage for the third time.

Ludogorets's fantastic league record, combined with them not losing in the first round of Champions League qualifying since a 5-3 aggregate defeat to Ferencvaros Torna Club in 2019-20, will give them plenty of confidence heading into this match against a side who have never won a game in the competition.

Dinamo Batumi have only competed in the qualifying rounds once before for the Champions League, falling to a 2-1 aggregate defeat against Slovan Bratislava in the first round in 2022-23.

A second league title in 2023, their second in three years, has earned them a spot back in the qualifying rounds for Europe's elite competition and manager Andrei Demchenko will be aiming to create history by taking a Georgian side to the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Demchenko's men are coming into this game on the back of just two wins in their last nine matches across all competitions and have been rather disappointing in the first half of the Erovnuli Liga, where they sit fourth and already eight points behind the league leaders.

As Dinamo Batumi's league season is already underway, whilst Ludogorets have not played a competitive match since May, they will be hoping their side are much better prepared for this one.

Ludogorets Razgrad form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Dinamo Batumi form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Jakub Piotrowski and Kwadwo Duah were both involved in their respective national sides' European Championship campaigns and are not expected to feature here.

Having not played a competitive match since late May, Dermendzhiev should have a fully fit and fresh squad to choose his eleven from.

A first win in four matches last time out for Dinamo Batumi could see Demchenko opt to name the same team in this one, although substitute Bubacarr Tambedou is likely to come into the side for Honore Gomis after coming off the bench to score twice in that game.

Ricardo Silva has joined the side on a free transfer since that last victory and the keeper could make his debut in this game, replacing current starting goalkeeper Luka Kharatishvili, who has conceded 10 goals in the last four outings.

Ludogorets Razgrad possible starting lineup:
Padt; Witry, Sundberg, Verdon, Nedyalkov; Chochev, Naressi; Rick, Nedelev, Vidal; Cruz

Dinamo Batumi possible starting lineup:
R. Silva; Mali, Kobakhidze, Kharabadze, W. Silva; Alef; Gudushauri, Mamuchashvili, Victor, Tambedou; Kutalia

SM words green background

We say: Ludogorets Razgrad 2-1 Dinamo Batumi

While Dinamo Batumi's side should be more match fit with their opponents not playing a competitive match in over a month, the hosts have far more experience competing at this level and we expect Ludogorets to get over the line with a victory here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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