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Preview: Ludogorets v Basel

"If we give everything, we have a chance," said PFC Ludogorets Razgrad boss Georgi Dermendzhiev, with FC Basel 1893 coach Paulo Sousa awaiting a "moment of truth".

Press conference: Paulo Sousa and Marek Suchý (Basel)
Press conference: Paulo Sousa and Marek Suchý (Basel)

Georgi Dermendzhiev predicts "a great tactical battle" against Basel
Ludogorets boss hopeful provided his side "give everything"
Paulo Sousa talks of "moment of truth for both teams"
Basel warned to expect an attack-minded Ludogorets in Sofia 
Marcelinho became Ludogorets' highest all-time top-flight scorer on Friday

Possible lineups
Ludogorets: Stoyanov; Caiçara, Moţi, Teziev, Minev; Dyakov, Fábio; M Alexandrov, Marcelinho, Abalo; Bezjak.
Out: Alexandre Barthe (groin)

Basel: Vaclík; Degen, Schär, Suchý, Xhaka; Frei; Serey Die, Elneny, D Gonzalez, Gashi; Embolo.
Out: Marco Streller (muscular injury), Matías Delgado (foot), Walter Samuel (knee), Behrang Safari (thigh)
Doubtful: Philipp Degen (unspecified)

Georgi Dermendzhiev, Ludogorets coach
We don't have any problems, and that is very important. The players are all totally focused on the game now. These two matches against Basel will be totally different from last season's encounters. Basel may have some injury problems, but we are focused on our team. If we win on Wednesday, everything will be different for us in the group. If we lose, then it will be much harder.

For me, this game will be a great tactical battle. We must be wiser and show more intelligence in our game. Our main advantage is our team spirit. If we stick together – if we give everything – we have a chance. I am sure the two defeats against Basel last season will not affect the mentality of the side.

Paulo Sousa, Basel coach
This is the moment of truth for both teams. We are focused on taking all three points, but Ludogorets will be tough opponents. We respect them a lot, and they showed what they can do in the games against Liverpool and Real Madrid. They deserved to take something from those two games.

The two teams seem identical in style. Ludogorets are very good as a unit. But I expect a different approach from them. I expect them to be more attack-minded; they will play on the counterattack. They will leave more free space and I hope we will create chances and score goals.

The teams met a year ago in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, but this is different encounter – both sides have made a lot of changes since. But for me, Ludogorets are now much tougher – they have more experience, they will be motivated and will play with more pace and intensity.

Living Ludogorets legend Marcelinho
Living Ludogorets legend Marcelinho©Getty Images

Weekend results
Ludogorets 3-1 FC Haskovo (Marcelinho 37, Moți 45+3pen, Abalo 51; Korudzhiev 6)
BSC Young Boys 0-1 Basel (Gashi 31)

Form guide (all competitions)
Ludogorets: WDLLWW
Basel: WLWDWL

Match facts
• How many goals have Basel conceded in each of their last two European away games? Find out in our extensive match background.