Ludogorets v København background

Having both parachuted down from the UEFA Champions League group stage, the Bulgarian and Danish title holders are ready to meet in the round of 32.

Virgil Misidjan (Ludogorets)
©AFP/Getty Images

Ludogorets Razgrad are seven European games without a win, a run including all of their 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, a sequence they will be eager to end against København.

Previous meetings
• This is the clubs' first meeting and Ludogorets's first encounter with Danish opponents.

• FCK's record in four games against Bulgarian sides is W3 D0 L1 (W2 at home – W1 L1 in Bulgaria).

Form guide
• Ludogorets made it through from the UEFA Champions League group stage despite not winning a game; since beating Viktoria Plzeň 2-0 at home in the play-offs, they have not prevailed in seven matches (D4 L3).

• FCK have lost only once in six European away fixtures this season (W2 D3 L1) and did not concede in their final three UEFA Champions League group stage games of 2016.

Keita Baldé (SS Lazio) & Tero Mäntylä (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad)
Ludogorets overcame Lazio at this juncture in 2013/14©AFP/Getty Images

• Ludogorets's only previous springtime European campaign came in 2013/14, when they eliminated Lazio in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 en route to a round of 16 loss to Valencia.

• København have not featured in the spring phase of a European competition since losing to Chelsea in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League round of 16. They previously reached the last eight of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup, but have yet to win – or score a goal - in four springtime UEFA games (D1 L3).

Links and trivia
• The journey from Copenhagen to Sofia, where Ludogorets are playing their European home games, is around 1,650km.

• København's Nicolai Boilesen turns 25 on the day of the first leg. Boilesen and Ludogorets' Jody Lukoki were team-mates at Ajax (2011–14).

Ståle Solbakken & Mathias Jørgensen (København)
FCK coach Ståle Solbakken and captain Mathias Jørgensen©AFP/Getty Images

• While playing for PSV Eindhoven, FCK captain Mathias 'Zanka' Jørgensen featured in two 2-0 defeats by Ludogorets in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Recently named goalkeeper of the year in the Danish Superliga, receiving 'Det Gyldne Bur' (the golden cage) from football magazine Tipsbladet, FCK's Robin Olsen kept a clean sheet when Sweden beat a Bulgaria team featuring Ludogorets' Vladislav Stoyanov, Svetoslav Dyakov and Marcelinho 3-0 in a European Qualifier on 10 October 2016.

• FCK's Andrija Pavlović was a trainee at Rad in Serbia while Ludogorets goalkeeper Milan Borjan was in the first team (2011–13).

• Ludogorets and København are among eight domestic champions involved in the round of 32, along with APOEL (CYP), Olympiacos (GRE), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR), Legia Warszawa (POL), Astra Giurgiu (ROU) and Beşiktaş (TUR).

The coaches
• A defender for Slavia Sofia and Yantra Gabrovo, Ludogorets's Georgi Dermendzhiev spent much of his career as an assistant coach with the likes of Litex Lovech, Botev Plovdiv and Sliven. On the staff since 2011, he took charge of Ludogorets in summer 2014 and has guided them to two league titles.

• Now in his second spell as København coach, Ståle Solbakken has led the club to six Danish titles. A midfielder, he was capped 58 times by Norway and ended his career at FCK after being diagnosed with a heart problem. He has coached in Norway, Germany and England, as well as in Denmark.