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Ludogorets v Plzeň background

Ludogorets Razgrad and Viktoria Plzeň will look to their friendly meeting in January for pointers ahead of the teams' UEFA Champions League play-off opener in Bulgaria.

Ludogorets celebrate a goal against Mladost Podgorica in the second qualifying round
Ludogorets celebrate a goal against Mladost Podgorica in the second qualifying round ©Meridian Match

Unbeaten in four European games this season, Ludogorets Razgrad will hope to end Viktoria Plzeň's perfect record in UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in a competitive game and have never come up against teams from their opponents' country in UEFA competition.

• Ludogorets defeated Plzeň 2-1 in a friendly in Turkey in January. Marcelinho (28) and Lucas Sasha (52) scored for Ludogorets; Matěj Končal (56) replied for the Czech side.

Match background
• Ludogorets eliminated Mladost Podgorića and then Crvena zvezda to reach the play-offs.

• This is Ludogorets' third play-off in this competition; they lost 6-2 on aggregate to Basel in 2013/14 but overcame Steaua Bucureşti on penalties in 2014/15.

Plzeň squeezed past Qarabağ in the previous round
Plzeň squeezed past Qarabağ in the previous round©Martin Skála

• Plzeň accounted for Qarabağ on away goals in the third qualifying round. The Czech First League club are seven UEFA matches without a victory.

• Plzeň have a 100% record in UEFA Champions League play-offs, having beaten København (2011/12) and Maribor (2013/14) in their two previous ties.

Team and coach links
• Exactly 99 goals have been scored in Ludogorets's 36 games in UEFA competition.

• Ludogorets forward Marcelinho needs one more goal to match Roman Bezjak as the club's top UEFA scorer with seven. With 34 outings, he is already the Eagles' European appearance record holder.

• Wanderson became the first Ludogorets player to score a UEFA hat-trick in the third qualifying round meeting with Crvena zvezda. He was the first player to register a European treble for a Bulgarian club since fellow Brazilian Joãozinho hit three against Želježničar for Litex Lovech in the UEFA Cup in August 2004.

Ludogorets played Real Madrid in the 2014/15 group stage
Ludogorets played Real Madrid in the 2014/15 group stage©Getty Images

Coach profiles
• One-time defender Georgi Dermendzhiev steered Ludogorets into the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2014/15 in his first spell in charge, resigning in May 2015 before being re-hired in November the same year. The former Spartak Plovdiv and Sliven coach has won two Bulgarian titles with Ludogorets.

• A defender for Dukla Praha and Sigma Olomouc, and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup runner up with Rapid Wien in 1996, Roman Pivarník was coaching Bohemians Praha when he was brought in to replace the outgoing Karel Krejčí at Plzeň this summer.