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Ludogorets seek Chornomorets repeat

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad are purring as they prepare for their Group B rematch with FC Chornomorets Odesa knowing another win would put them in the round of 32.

Ludogorets celebrate a Group B goal
Ludogorets celebrate a Group B goal ©AFP/Getty Images

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad will look to maintain their tremendous start in UEFA Europa League Group B, and will be sure of reaching the next stage of the competition if they avoid defeat at home against FC Chornomorets Odesa.

Previous meetings
• Hristo Zlatinski scored the only goal on matchday three as Ludogorets won their first encounter with Chornomorets. It was Chornomorets' maiden encounter with a side from Bulgaria and Ludogorets' first game against a Ukrainian club.

• Ukrainian teams have had much the better of previous meetings between clubs representing the two nations, boasting the record W12 D5 L5. The record of Ukrainian teams in ten games in Bulgaria is W3 D3 L4.

Match background
• Five clubs go into matchday four with 100% records: ACF Fiorentina, Eintracht Frankfurt, Ludogorets, FC Salzburg and Tottenham Hotspur FC. Eintracht, Ludogorets and Tottenham are also yet to concede. No club has ever gone through a UEFA Europa League group with six clean sheets. The record mark of just one goal conceded was set by R. Standard de Liège in 2011/12.

• This is only Ludogorets' second European campaign. They were promoted to the Bulgarian top flight for the first time at the end of the 2010/11 season.

• This is group stage debutants Chornomorets' tenth game since entering the competition in the second qualifying round. Their longest previous European campaign was a six-match voyage to the second round of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup.

Team facts
• Chornomorets midfielder Olexiy Gai celebrates his 31st birthday on the eve of the Ludogorets match.

• Ludogorets are the only one of the nine domestic champions in this season's group stage to have won all their opening fixtures. The other domestic champions are Group B rivals Dinamo (Croatia), NK Maribor (Slovenia), FC Sheriff (Moldova), Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (Israel), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), APOEL FC (Cyprus) and IF Elfsborg (Sweden).

• Ludogorets' Romanian defender Cosmin Moţi and Chornomorets' Albanian midfielder Elis Bakaj were team-mates at FC Dinamo Bucureşti in 2011.

Coach information
• Brought in to replace Ivaylo Petev as Ludogorets coach in July, Stoicho Stoev was a stylish forward with PFC Lokomotiv Sofia in the 1980s, though he maintained a European outlook and classed Arrigo Sacchi as his coaching idol. After taking charge of a number of smaller Bulgarian clubs, the cool-headed coach led champions Ludogorets – his local side – to their first UEFA Europa League group stage campaign after defeat by FC Basel 1893 in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• Chornomorets coach since November 2010, Roman Grygorchuk was a successful striker in his native Ukraine, also playing in Austria, Poland and Russia before going from the pitch to the bench in Latvia. He won three Latvian titles as FK Ventspils coach but then opted to return to Ukraine. In Odessa, he won promotion to the top division in his first season in charge, while a sixth-place finish in 2012/13 opened the door to Europe.