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Preview: Ludogorets v Steaua

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad have not won in four UEFA Champions League games but Georgi Dermendzhiev is "not worried or afraid" as they bid to overcome FC Steaua Bucureşti.

Ludogorets coach Georgi Dermendzhiev in relaxed mood ahead of the second leg
Ludogorets coach Georgi Dermendzhiev in relaxed mood ahead of the second leg ©Stoyan Georgiev

Steaua hold edge after 1-0 play-off first leg win in Romania
Ludogorets attempting to reach group stage for first time
Bulgarian champions got to 2013/14 UEFA Europa League last 16
Constantin Gâlcă: "It smells like the Champions League now"
Steaua's first-leg goalscorer Alexandru Chipciu suspended

Possible lineups
Stoyanov; Júnior Caiçara, Moţi, Terziev, Minev; Dyakov, Fábio Espinho; M Aleksandrov, Marclinho, Misidjan; Younés Hamza.
Out: Vitinha (ankle), Brayan Angulo (strain)
Doubtful: none

Steaua: Arlauskis; Râpă, Szukała, Varela, Latovlevici; Breeveld, Prepeliță, Sânmărtean; Popa, Tănase; Keșerü.
Out: Chipciu
Doubtful: Cristian Tănase(groin)

Georgi Dermendzhiev, Ludogorets coach
We did well in the UEFA Europa League last season, but this is different. Everyone dreams of playing in the UEFA Champions League. There is some pressure, but we have had enough time to prepare for this game. Steaua have many excellent players and it will be so hard for us, of course. But I am not worried or afraid.

We have talked a lot of with the boys. Our approach will be different compared with the first game. We will attack but at the same time will be careful at the back. We're practising penalties; I won't hide that.

Constantin Gâlcă, Steaua coach
It smells like the Champions League now. This game will be much harder, I have no doubt about that. Ludogorets will risk much more, especially as they play in front of their own fans. I believe we will create chances and convert them. I am optimistic and believe we could win, though a draw would also be enough.

Ludogorets have some excellent players like Marcelinho and Fábio Espinho. I am not sure whether the injured players will be fit; I must wait and see after our training session. I am thinking now only of the game, we don't think about possible penalties. Of course we will miss Alexandru Chipciu, who's suspended, but I'm sure his replacement will do the job too.

Weekend results
PFC Lokomotiv Sofia 2-2 Ludogorets (Helton 31, Everton 46; Abel 9 83)Steaua 0-1 FC Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ (Achim 48)

Form guide (all competitions)
Ludogorets: DLWWWD
Steaua: LWWWWW

Match fact
• Which Ludogorets defender spent seven years with Steaua's arch-rivals FC Dinamo Bucureşti before heading to Bulgaria in 2012? Find out in our extensive match background.