UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|LASK||Stadion der Stadt Linz - LinzThursday 29 October 2020|
18.55CET (18.55 local time) Group J - Matchday 2
|PFC Ludogorets 1945|
LASK and Ludogorets are both without a point in UEFA Europa League Group J as they cross paths for the first time in European competition.
• LASK were second best to Tottenham Hotspur as they lost 3-0 in north London on Matchday 1, but Ludogorets took the lead at home to Antwerp, through Spanish striker Higinio Marín, before conceding twice and falling to a 2-1 defeat.
• This is LASK's first UEFA encounter with Bulgarian opposition and Ludogorets' first against a team from Austria.
• Fourth in the 2019/20 Austrian Bundesliga, LASK enjoyed the longest and most successful European run in their history last term, stretching from the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
• LASK made their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage last term, topping a group containing three European stalwarts in Sporting CP, PSV Eindhoven and Rosenborg before overcoming AZ Alkmaar in the round of 32 in what was the club's first experience of springtime European football. They are back in the group stage this term following big qualifying wins against DAC Dunajská Streda (7-0 h) and, in the play-offs, Sporting (4-1 a). Both were club record wins in this competition.
• The team from the Danube city have won eight of their ten European home games over the past three seasons, scoring 26 goals in the process. They recorded three home wins out of three in last season's group stage.
• 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.
• Having won their first four away fixtures on their debut UEFA Europa League participation in 2013/14, Ludogorets have been victorious in only two of the subsequent 13 (D6 L5) in the competition proper, the latest a 3-0 success at Ferencváros on Matchday 2 last season.
Links and trivia
• Two Ludogorets players have played on loan for Austrian clubs – Bernard Tekpetey at Altach in 2017 and Kiril Despodov at Sturm Graz in 2019/20.
• Ludogorets defender Dragoş Grigore scored past LASK goalkeeper Alexander Schlager as Romania beat Austria 3-2 in Klagenfurt last month in the UEFA Nations League.