Ludogorets coach Georgi Dermendzhiev says Arsenal will be English champions if they continue the way they are going but hopes Sunday's north London derby will be a distraction.
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- If Arsenal or Paris win and the other avoids defeat, both are through
- The Gunners are 14 matches unbeaten, winning 11 of them
- Wenger's team have lost three of their last five European away games
- Ludogorets have won their last nine domestic fixtures in league and cup
- Özil hit a hat-trick in a 6-0 Arsenal victory when the sides met two weeks ago
Ludogorets: Borjan; Minev, Moți, Palomino, Natanael; Dyakov, Anicet; Marcelinho, Wanderson, Cafú; Keșerü.
Out: Vitinha (knee)
Misses next match if booked: Natanael
Arsenal: Ospina; Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Xhaka, Elneny; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Sánchez; Giroud.
Out: Cazorla (unspecified), Walcott (fitness), Bellerín (unspecified), Monreal (rested), Lucas (ankle), Mertesacker (knee), Welbeck (knee), Akpom (back)
Georgi Dermendzhiev, Ludogorets coach
They have a very important league game on Sunday [against Tottenham]. They are in fantastic shape and if they keep it up, they will be champions of England. We have studied the first game in London and drawn the necessary conclusions. There will be some changes to our approach and we will be more cautious.
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
[First place in Group A] is our prime target, but we must do it step by step. In recent years we have paid the price for being runners-up because we then met teams like Barcelona and Bayern in the first knockout round. It is very important for us to win tomorrow, otherwise we may find ourselves in a difficult situation.
Our destiny lies in the minds of the players, how strong their focus is and how hungry they are. That starts here. We must keep a good balance between vigilance and confidence. We are both attacking sides so this should be an interesting match.
Dunav 3-5 Ludogorets (Budinov 14, Shopov 33, Patev 66; Keșerü 15 30 74, Wanderson 45, Cafú 90)
Claudiu Keșerü took his goal tally to seven in three matches in all competitions as Ludogorets racked up a seventh straight A League win. Dermendzhiev's side have scored 34 times in their first 11 league games.
Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal (Defoe 65p; Alexis Sánchez 19 78, Giroud 71 76)
The Gunners are unbeaten in 14 on all fronts, Olivier Giroud coming on against the Premier League's bottom team to net his first Arsenal goals of the season. Aaron Ramsey's substitute appearance was his first outing since the campaign opener.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Stoyan Georgiev (@UEFAcomStoyanG)
Arsenal's first-ever visit is the footballing event of the year in Bulgaria. Can Ludogorets rise to the occasion? They had their moments in London but lost heavily in the end, and the signs are that Dermendzhiev will make changes, with Milan Borjan in goal and Keșerü leading the line. Since matchday three, the Romanian forward has claimed seven goals in three games. However, Arsenal are flying and it might take divine intervention for Ludogorets to get the result they need to maintain their chance of a third-placed finish.
Did you know?
Ludogorets drew 2-2 with Liverpool in their only previous home fixture against English opponents. For more information, check out of in-depth match background.