Preview: Ludogorets v Liverpool

While PFC Ludogorets Razgrad have "no pressure and can play freely" according to Georgi Dermendzhiev, Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool FC must recover lost confidence.

After drawing 2-2 with PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, Liverpool FC's Raheem Sterling told UEFA.com that "the key is to keep playing football" as the club look to secure their place in the last-16 on matchday six.

Georgi Dermendzhiev says Ludogorets have "no pressure"
Home coach describes it as "one very tough game"
Liverpool have not scored in Group B since beating Ludogorets 2-1 on matchday one
Liverpool have failed to qualify from the group stage twice in eight previous campaigns
Brendan Rodgers: "If we play well, we'll get a result"

Permutations: Ludogorets (3pts) v Liverpool (3)
Ludogorets will be out of Europe with a loss, and cannot finish in the top two if they draw or Basel win.
Liverpool can ensure a top-three finish with victory, but even then they will definitely need three points against Basel on 9 December to have a chance of coming second.

Possible lineups
Ludgorets: Stoyanov; Júnior Caiçara, Terziev, Moţi, Minev; Dyakov, Fábio Espinho, Alexandrov, Abalo, Marcelinho; Hamza.
Out: Bezjak (hernia)
Doubtful: none

Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Škrtel, Lovren, Johnson/Moreno; Lallana, Gerrard, Henderson; Coutinho; Lambert, Sterling.
Out: Sturridge (thigh), Balotelli (hamstring), Flanagan (knee), Suso (groin)
Doubtful: Sakho (thigh)

Georgi Dermendzhiev, Ludogorets coach
This will be one very tough game for us and I hope the fans will enjoy it. There will be no pressure on us, we'll play freely and give our best to win. We have already gained a lot of experience, we now have a serious routine [at this level]. It won't be fatal for us if we lose.

Liverpool have so many quality players, I think their problems are more psychological. Our first game in the group stage was at Anfield and probably our team was unknown. Now it is different. Brendan Rodgers knows us better and will do everything to win the game.

I believe in my players. We made mistakes in our last match against Basel, when we lost 4-0, but I hope we won't make mistakes this time. The supporters in Sofia have been fantastic to us and we try to make them delighted again.

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool manager
We have enormous respect for Ludogorets. They were excellent at Anfield in the first game and maybe they should have won more points. They have surprised a lot of people. They are technically a very good side.

We arrive here seriously motivated. We know if we play well, we will get a result. I just need to get us back to a level of confidence that allows you to perform. Losing can be the making of you. You learn from it. That is what we are aiming to do. When you don't have so much coaching time, it is mostly psychological what you are trying to achieve. If we focus on that too much, there is no way we could play to our level.

Steven Gerrard is a unique case. I judge him on merit. People are expecting him to be the type of player he was ten or 12 years ago and that isn't going to be the case. He has been slowly adapting to a role I thought would be excellent for him. He is a wonderful, wonderful player, but he isn't going to get 15 goals and 14 assists a season any more. I can safely say he is the best I have ever worked with in terms of football commitment and intelligence. There is nothing sentimental about me picking him. He's a unique case as he knows every decision is made with the best interest of Liverpool. He can still contribute to a high level. It is my job to manage that.

Weekend results
PFC CSKA Sofia 1-1 Ludogorets (Tunchev 25; Fábio Espinho 37)
Crystal Palace FC 3-1 Liverpool (Gayle 17, Ledley 78, Jedinak 81; Lambert 2)

Form guide (all competitions)
Ludogorets: DWLWWW
Liverpool: LLLLWD

Match facts
• Ludogorets have won five and drawn three of their last ten home games in UEFA competition. Find out more in our match background.

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