Turkish clubs have had the measure of Bulgarian opponents since 2000: good news for İstanbul Başakşehir as they welcome Ludogorets Razgrad in Group C.
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This week, football fans watching UEFA Europa League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto "Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you play." More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.
Turkish clubs have had the measure of Bulgarian opposition since 2000: good news for İstanbul Başakşehir as they welcome Ludogorets Razgrad in UEFA Europa League Group C.
• The sides are meeting for the first time, neither having played teams from their rivals' home countries before.
• Turkish clubs are unbeaten in ten UEFA matches with Bulgarian opponents since the turn of the millennium: W7 D3 (W5 D0 at home).
• Last term's Turkish Süper Lig runners-up, Başakşehir have won only one of their five European home games to date: W1 D1 L3.
• Ludogorets are without a win in eight European away matches: D5 L3.
• Beaten by Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, Başakşehir are making their UEFA group stage debut this season.
• Bulgarian champions Ludogorets got to the round of 16 in their only previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaign of 2013/14 – and played in last season's round of 32 after transferring from the UEFA Champions League.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Razgrad to Istanbul is around 350km.
• Ludogorets' Marcelinho serves a one-match suspension for this game.
• Basakşehir full-back Júnior Caiçara played for Ludogorets from 2012–15, winning three Bulgarian titles and a Bulgarian Cup.
• Abdullah Avcı led Turkey to success in the 2005 UEFA European Under-17 Championship before taking charge of Başakşehir for the first time from 2006–11. He returned in 2014 following an unsuccessful stint as Turkey boss.
• Hired in summer 2017, Ludogorets coach Dimitar Dimitrov established his coaching reputation at home-town club Neftochimik Burgas and landed Bulgarian titles with Litex Lovech and Levski Sofia, later coaching in Russia and Kazakhstan.