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PSV welcome Ludogorets on matchday one

PSV Eindhoven have appeared in every UEFA Europa League group stage to date, while their visitors PFC Ludogorets Razgrad are making their debut in the competition.

PSV celebrate a European goal
PSV celebrate a European goal ©AFP/Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven's fifth successive UEFA Europa League group stage campaign begins with Bulgarian champions PFC Ludogorets Razgrad making a first trip to the Netherlands in Group B.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition and this is Ludogorets' first encounter with Dutch opposition.

• PSV have played four games against Bulgarian sides with the record W3 D1 L0 (W1 D1 L0 at home). However, Ludogorets can take some comfort in the fact that PSV scored just three goals in total across those four encounters, though they have yet to concede a goal against a Bulgarian side.

Match background
• PSV are the only side to have competed in every edition of the UEFA Europa League group stage since the competition's inception in 2009/10, missing out on the round of 32 for the first time last season when they finished behind FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and SSC Napoli in Group F.

• PSV have won just one of their last four European home games, that run also including two draws and a defeat. However they have never lost their first home game in a UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, recording three wins and a draw.

• Ludogorets are making their first appearance in a UEFA competition group stage in what is only their second European campaign. They were only promoted to the Bulgarian top flight for the first time at the end of the 2010/11 season.

• Ludogorets have lost three of their four European away games to date, with their only victory a 1-0 at FK Partizan in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. This will be their first game in the UEFA Europa League.

Team facts
• Ludogorets are one of nine domestic champions competing in this season's group stage along with NK Maribor (Slovenia), FC Sheriff (Moldova), Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (Israel), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), APOEL FC (Cyprus), GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) and IF Elfsborg (Sweden).

• PSV (1978) are one of five clubs in this season's group stage to have won this competition before along with Valencia CF (2004), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980) and two-time winners Sevilla FC (2006, 2007) and Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984). PSV are the only side involved on matchday one to have also won the European Champion Clubs' Cup, in 1988.

• PSV boast Bulgarian talent in the form of defender Stanislav Manolev, who made his name with PFC Litex Lovech before heading for the Netherlands in 2009. He has won domestic cups in both countries; Bulgaria in 2008 and 2009, and the Netherlands in 2012.

• Dutch winger Virgil Misidjan joined Ludogorets from Willem II in the summer.

Coach information
• Hired in the summer of 2013 to coach the club he served so successfully as a player, Phillip Cocu had spent several years preparing, working with the senior national team and PSV's youth teams and briefly taking caretaker command of the PSV first XI in 2012. Capped 101 times for the Netherlands, he won four Dutch titles with PSV either side of a lengthy spell at FC Barcelona, peaking with the 1998/99 Liga triumph.

• Brought in to replace Ivaylo Petev as Ludogorets coach in July, Stoycho 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.