Top spot beckons Paris; Ludogorets eye third

Paris Saint-Germain can make sure of first place in Group A by beating a Ludogorets Razgrad side who are focused on finishing third and reaching the UEFA Europa League.

Unai Emery (Paris)
Unai Emery (Paris) ©AFP/Getty Images

Through to the last 16, Paris Saint-Germain have control of Group A after a 2-2 draw at Arsenal FC on matchday five, meaning they only have to match the London club's result against FC Basel 1893 at home to PFC Ludogorets Razgrad to qualify as section winners.

• The Bulgarian side also drew on matchday five, a 0-0 stalemate at home to Basel, and while this match is the end of their UEFA Champions League campaign for the season, having drawn 1-1 in Switzerland they are in the driving seat for the race for the UEFA Europa League qualifying place; they have to match what Basel do in their final match.

• In the reverse fixture – the teams' first ever meeting – Paris overcame an early setback when Natanael scored with a free-kick to run out 3-1 winners, Edinson Cavani scoring twice in the second half.

Match background

• Unai Emery's team drew 1-1 at home to Arsenal on matchday one after Cavani had scored just 44 seconds in – Paris' fastest-ever UEFA Champions League goal. They also had Marco Verratti, along with Olivier Giroud, sent off in added time.

• In the double-header with Basel they won 3-0 at home and then 2-1 away.

• The French champions went out in the quarter-finals last season, the fourth successive year they had met defeat at that stage.

• In Group A Paris had set high standards, scoring 12 goals and conceding only one in an away defeat at Real Madrid CF. Two home wins in the group – and a 0-0 draw with Madrid – helped maintain their impressive record on their own soil.

• In a run of 41 home European games since losing to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage, Paris have been beaten only once, 3-1 against FC Barcelona in the 2014/15 quarter-final first leg (W26 D14).

• Paris' first ever game in UEFA competition came in Bulgaria 34 years ago with a 1982/83 European Cup Winners' Cup first round tie against PFC Lokomotiv Sofia. They lost 1-0 in Sofia and won 5-1 at home.

• Two years ago, in the Bulgarian side's only previous group stage campaign, they lost all three away games so the draw at Basel on matchday one represented an improvement.

• In the back-to-back encounters with Arsenal they lost 6-0 in north London and then led 2-0 in Sofia before losing 3-2.

• The home game with Paris was the first time they had faced opponents from France on the European stage.

• After winning the Bulgarian title for the fifth season in a row, Ludogorets scored 15 goals in the qualifying campaign to book their return to the group stage.

• They first beat FK Mladost Podgorica 2-0 at home and 3-0 away. Against FK Crvena zvezda they followed a 2-2 draw at home with a 4-2 extra-time win away. Wanderson scored three of the goals in the away leg.

• In the play-offs a 2-0 home win over FC Viktoria Plzeň set up a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Coach and player links
• Claudiu Keșerü played for FC Nantes (2004–10), Angers SCO (2010–13), and SC Bastia (2013/14).

• Jesé came on as a substiture during Real Madrid's 4-0 home win over Ludogorets in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 9 December 2014.

Match facts

• Marquinhos and Thiago Motta are both a booking away from a ban. Verratti serves a one-game suspension.

• Paris were 12 matches unbeaten in all competitions, winning ten of them, prior to Saturday's 3-0 loss at Montpellier Hérault SC – the capital club's heaviest defeat in any competition since November 2011.

• Cavani's goal in the 2-0 home victory against Angers SCO on 30 November was his 100th for Paris.

• Lorenzo Callegari, a member of the club's UEFA Youth League squad, made his senior debut against Angers.

• Natanael will incur a suspension with his next booking.

• Ludogorets are on a run of 12 successive league victories, two shy of the Bulgarian top-flight record set by PFC Levski Sofia over the course of the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons.

• The Eagles from Razgrad are 16 matches unbeaten in domestic competition.

Chapecoense commemoration
Teams taking part in all of the matchday six UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches will observe a minute's silence to pay respect to the victims of last week's air disaster involving the Chapecoense team and accompanying delegation. The Brazilian club lost most of their players and coaching staff in the accident, which occurred in Colombia, where Chapecoense were due to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético Nacional.

"European football is united in expressing its deepest sympathy to Chapecoense, the Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF], CONMEBOL and the families of all the victims," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. "This tragedy has shaken the world of football, and we would like to send our support to all of those affected by it."