Last updated 04/08/2021 02:53CET
UEFA Europa League: PFC Ludogorets 1945 - Royal Antwerp FC Match press kits

UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits

PFC Ludogorets 1945PFC Ludogorets 1945Ludogorets Arena - RazgradThursday 22 October 2020
21.00CET (22.00 local time)
Group J - Matchday 1
Royal Antwerp FCRoyal Antwerp FC
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Match background Only this chapter

A fourth successive UEFA Europa League group stage campaign for Bulgarian champions Ludogorets begins with a home fixture against Royal Antwerp, who are appearing for the first time at this juncture of the competition.

Previous meetings
• Ludogorets have never previously faced a Belgian club, while Antwerp's sole experience of Bulgarian opposition dates back 31 years to a legendary UEFA Cup first-round tie against Levski Sofia (then called Vitosha), in which they drew the away leg 0-0 before sensationally scoring three late goals to overturn a 1-3 deficit and win the return fixture 4-3.

Form guide
• Ludogorets won a ninth consecutive Bulgarian league title in 2019/20 to earn a place in this season's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, where they beat Budućnost of Montenegro (3-1 a) before falling in the next round to Danish champions Midtjylland (0-1 h). Awarded a bye into the UEFA Europa League play-offs, they then beat Dinamo Brest 2-0 away to reach the group stage for the fourth year in a row and fifth time in all.

• Last season was Ludogorets' longest in this competition, incorporating 16 matches as they progressed from the second qualifying round to the round of 32, where they were knocked out by Internazionale (0-2 h, 1-2 a). It was the third time out of four that they had qualified from their group, finishing runners-up to Espanyol and ahead of Ferencváros, their conquerors in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, and CSKA Moskva.

• Ludogorets have failed to win any of their last four European home games, losing three of them without scoring. In the UEFA Europa League proper they have posted just one win in their last ten home matches (D4 L5) – a 5-1 success against CSKA Moskva on Matchday 1 last season.

• Antwerp beat champions Club Brugge 1-0 in the 2019/20 Belgian Cup final – the club's first victory in the competition for 28 years – to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time.

• Last season the club returned to European competition for the first time in a quarter of a century but were unable to negotiate their way through UEFA Europa League qualifying, going out in the play-offs to AZ Alkmaar after extra time (1-1 a, 1-4 h) following an away goals extra-time win in the third qualifying round against a Viktoria Plzeň side led by current Ludogorets coach Pavel Vrba (1-0 h, 1-2 a).

• European Cup Winners' Cup runners-up to Parma in the 1992/93 final at Wembley, the Great Old have failed to win away from home in Europe since the second round of that competition (4-2 at Admira Wacker in the first leg), drawing three games and losing four.

Links and trivia
• Antwerp's Pieter Gerkens played at Anderlecht alongside Ludogorets defender Josué Sá in 2017/18.

• Bernard Tekpetey (Ludogorets) and Nana Ampomah (Antwerp) were team-mates last season at Fortuna Düsseldorf.

• Vrba has a 100% success rate in taking his team through the UEFA Europa League group stage, achieving it twice with Plzeň in 2012/13 and 2017/18.

• Appointed in May 2020, Antwerp coach Ivan Leko's first game in charge was the Belgian Cup final win on 1 August against Club Brugge, the team he had led to the Belgian title in 2017/18. As a Hajduk Split player Leko faced Bulgarian side Levski Sofia in the first round of the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup, losing the tie 3-0 (0-0 h, 0-3 a).

• Antwerp are one of five clubs making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut in 2020/21, the others being Granada and Omonoia (Group E), Leicester City (G) and Sivasspor (I). They are the eighth different Belgian club to appear in the competition proper.




Club competitions
  • UCL: UEFA Champions League
  • ECCC: European Champion Clubs' Cup
  • UEL: UEFA Europa League
  • UCUP: UEFA Cup
  • UCWC: UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  • SCUP: UEFA Super Cup
  • UIC: UEFA Intertoto Cup
  • ICF: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
National team competitions
  • EURO: UEFA European Football Championship
  • WC: FIFA World Cup
  • CONFCUP: FIFA Confederations Cup
  • FRIE: Friendly internationals
  • U21FRIE: Under-21 friendly internationals
  • U21: UEFA European Under-21 Championship
  • U17: UEFA Under-17 Championship
  • U16: UEFA European Under-16 Championship
  • U19: UEFA Under-19 Championship
  • U18: UEFA European Under-18 Championship
  • WWC: FIFA Women's World Cup
  • WEURO: UEFA European Women's Championship

Competition stages

  • F: Final
  • GS: Group stage
  • GS1: First group stage
  • GS2: Second group stage
  • 3QR: Third qualifying round
  • R1: First round
  • R2: Second round
  • R3: Third round
  • R4: Fourth round
  • PR: Preliminary round
  • SF: Semi-finals
  • QF: Quarter-finals
  • R16: round of 16
  • QR: Qualifying round
  • R32: Round of 32
  • 1QR: First qualifying round
  • 1st: first leg
  • 2QR: Second qualifying round
  • 2nd: second leg
  • FT: Final tournament
  • PO: Play-off
  • ELITE: Elite round
  • Rep: Replay
  • 3rdPO: Third-place play-off
  • PO - FT: Play-off for Final Tournament
  • GS-FT: Group stage – final tournament

Other abbreviations

  • (aet): After extra time
  • pens: Penalties
  • No.: Number
  • og: Own goal
  • ag: Match decided on away goals
  • P: Penalty
  • agg: Aggregate
  • Pld: Matches played
  • AP: Appearances
  • Pos.: Position
  • Comp.: Competition
  • Pts: Points
  • D: Drawn
  • R: Sent off (straight red card)
  • DoB: Date of birth
  • Res.: Result
  • ET: Extra Time
  • sg: Match decided by silver goal
  • GA: Goals against
  • t: Match decided by toss of a coin
  • GF: Goals for
  • W: Won
  • gg: Match decided by golden goal
  • Y: Booked
  • L: Lost
  • Y/R: Sent off (two yellow cards)
  • Nat.: Nationality
  • N/A: Not applicable
  • f: Match forfeited


  • -: Denotes player substituted
  • +: Denotes player introduced
  • *: Denotes player sent off
  • +/-: Denotes player introduced and substituted

Squad list

  • D: Disciplinary
  • *: Misses next match if booked
  • S: Suspended
  • QUAL: All UEFA qualifiers
  • UEL: Current season total UEFA Europa League appearances from the group stage onwards prior to the current matchday
  • UEL: Total appearances in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final only
  • UEFA: All-time total appearances in UEFA club competition including qualifying
  • Disclaimer: Although UEFA has taken all reasonable care that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of publication, no representation or guarantee (including liability towards third parties), expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy, reliability or completeness. Therefore, UEFA assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein. More information can be found in the competition regulations available on