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GNK Dinamo Zagreb can bring the curtain down on their UEFA Europa League campaign with a flourish as they welcome Group B winners PFC Ludogorets Razgrad on matchday six.
• Dinamo are certain to finish bottom of the section; Ludogorets will finish top.
• The sides met for a third time in barely a year on matchday two, Juninho Quixadá, Virgil Misidjan and Svetoslav Dyakov scoring in a 3-0 win for Ludogorets.
• Last season, Ante Čačić's Dinamo eliminated Ivaylo Petev's Ludogorets in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, following up a 1-1 draw in Razgrad with a 3-2 win in Croatia, though the visitors led twice in that return fixture before the dismissals of Marcelinho and Miroslav Ivanov changed the tone of the game.
• The lineups for their game in Zagreb on 25 July 2012 – Ludogorets' second fixture in UEFA club competition – were:
Dinamo: Kelava, Ibáñez (Alispahić 46), Calello (Čop* 62), Kovačić, Sammir*, Tonel, Vrsaljko, Badelj, Bećiraj* (Peko 72), Vida, Rukavina*.
Ludogorets: Golubović, Barthe*, Genchev, Dyakov*, Ivanov (Moţi* 88), Gargarov (Balakov 76), Minev*, Guldan, Stoyanov* (Guela 74), Júnior Caiçara*, Marcelinho*.
* registered to play in this season's group stage.
• Those games against Dinamo represent the sum total of Ludogorets' experience of Croatian opponents, but Dinamo have played two other games against Bulgarian sides – home and away wins against OFC Botev Vratsa in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup. Their overall record against Bulgarian clubs is thus W3 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W1 D1 L1 in Bulgaria).
• No Bulgarian club have won in six UEFA competition visits to Croatia (D1 L5) – seven if you include PFC Slavia Sofia's 3-0 loss at HNK Hajduk Split in the 1970/71 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League.
• Dinamo have yet to make it through the group stage of this competition in six attempts, this season included. Moreover, they have not won in 19 games (D2 L17) in UEFA group stages since a 2-0 triumph at Club Brugge KV in the UEFA Europa League on 4 November 2010.
• Ludogorets are making their first appearance in a UEFA competition group stage in what is only their second European campaign. They were promoted to the Bulgarian top flight for the first time at the end of the 2010/11 season.
• Ludogorets' Brazilian forward Juninho Quixadá – one of the scorers in the sides' matchday two meeting – celebrates his 28th birthday on the day of the rematch.
• Ludogorets and Dinamo are among nine sides that started the group stage as domestic champions along with NK Maribor (Slovenia), FC Sheriff (Moldova), Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (Israel), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), APOEL FC (Cyprus) and IF Elfsborg (Sweden).
• Dinamo brought an end to Branko Ivanković's third spell as the club's coach ahead of matchday three, with his side having lost four of his eight games since he took charge in September.
• Sporting director Zoran Mamić has been put in charge for the remainder of the year, with Damir Krznar and Igor Cvitanović working as his assistants. Capped six times for Croatia as a defender and defensive midfielder, Mamić started and ended his playing career at Dinamo either side of a long spell in Germany, where he represented, among others, VfL Bochum 1848 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
• Brought in to replace Ivaylo Petev as Ludogorets coach in July, Stoicho Stoev was a stylish forward with PFC Lokomotiv Sofia in the 1980s, though he maintained a European outlook and classed Arrigo Sacchi as his coaching idol. After taking charge of a number of smaller Bulgarian clubs, the cool-headed coach led champions Ludogorets – his local side – to their first UEFA Europa League group stage campaign after defeat by FC Basel 1893 in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
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