Urs Fischer has told his Basel side to be on their guard early on in Bulgaria, saying: "I've seen a lot of Ludogorets games and they'll try to take the initiative from the first second."
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- Fischer warns Basel to expect a strong start from Ludogorets
- Whoever wins this match will secure third place in Group A
- Steffen's 79th-minute strike gave Basel a 1-1 draw on matchday one
- Both teams won their weekend domestic games without conceding
- Dermendzhiev asks the home side for a positive performance
Ludogorets: Stoyanov; Minev, Moţi, Palomino, Natanael; Dyakov, Anicet; Marcelinho, Wanderson, Cafú; Keșerü.
Out: Vitinha (knee)
Misses next match if booked: Natanael
Basel: Vaclík; Lang, Balanta, Suchý, Traoré; Xhaka, Zuffi, Bjarnason, Elyounoussi, Delgado; Doumbia.
Out: Die (suspended), Steffen (suspended)
Georgi Dermendzhiev, Ludogorets coach
Of course this game is very, very important and we must show our best. I have watched a lot of Basel games recently and they're a very strong team. We must be totally focused from the first second. A 0-0 draw might be good for us, but we cannot play for such a result. We've showed we can score goals and that's our aim again.
I don't want to say how Basel will play, but we won't change our style. We're thinking positively and want to reach the UEFA Europa League. We must play a clever game. We have played a lot of European games and we have the routine and the experience. Basel are in good form, so are we, so the game will be very tense and interesting.
Urs Fischer, Basel coach
Ludogorets have the advantage because of the result from the first game. A 0-0 draw is not a result we will be looking for. We will go for the win. I've watched a lot of Ludogorets games and I know they will try to take the initiative from the first second. That does not necessarily mean they will not use their most powerful weapon – the counterattack. I expect the same pattern and we must be totally focused in the opening minutes.
The most important thing is to get a good result and then we will think about our next targets. This is my first UEFA Champions League campaign, so I can't compare this game with my previous games. But I have been involved in other important matches with high stakes so I know how to cope.
Ludogorets 1-0 Beroe (Jonathan Cafú 70)
Ludogorets claimed top spot in the Bulgarian A League courtesy of Jonathan Cafú's second-half effort. They are 14 games unbeaten on the domestic front.
Basel 6-0 Vaduz (Doumbia 10 51, Elyounoussi 19, Lang 74, Bjarnason 77, Callà 90)
Runaway Swiss Super League leaders Basel are undefeated in 18 domestic fixtures this season; this was their biggest win since April.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Stoyan Georgiev (@UEFAcomStoyanG)
This is a UEFA Europa League play-off in all but name. Arsenal and Paris have both been too good for Basel and Ludogorets, so third place is the aim. Ludogorets won 1-0 against the Swiss champions in Sofia two years ago – possibly a surprise considering the status of both clubs – and will need to make the most of their attacking options if they are to repeat the trick. Their problems, as usual, are at the back however – if their defence can stay focused for 90 minutes, they have a chance.
Did you know?
Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) president Borislav Mihaylov, who made 102 appearances for his country, played for Zürich in 1998/99 alongside Fischer. Read more in our extensive match background.